Lesson Plan

How Many Pennies?

Main Subject Area: Mathematics

Duration of Lesson:  30 minutes

Keywords:

• Estimation
• Penny

Brief Description:

Students will estimate the number of pennies it takes to fill outlines of various basic shapes.

National Standard(s):

• Number and Operations
• Geometry
• Measurement

• Demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning

Objectives:

Student will identify different shapes.

Students will estimate based on a penny as being a standard unit.

Students will record and test their estimates.

Materials (online):

Materials (offline):

Math Journals

For each group of 3 – 4 students:

20 – 30 pennies

Sheets of papers with large outlines of different shapes (circle, triangle, square, rectangle, etc)

Coins Used in Lesson:

Circulating U.S. pennies

Procedures (online):

Procedures (offline):

1. Instruct your students to fold a page in their math journal into 3 columns. Label the first column “Shape.” Label the second column “My estimate,” and the third column “Actual number of pennies.”

2. Break your students into 3 or 4 and give each group a set of supplies. Each group needs a set of pennies and one copy of the papers with the outlines of different shapes. There should be one paper for each student.

3. In their math journals, have your students write the name or draw a picture of their shape (in the first column) followed by their estimate of how many pennies they think it will take to fill up each of the shapes (column 2). Students can look at the pennies and the shapes to help decide how many they think might fill each shape.

4. Each student should create an estimate for each shape, and then the students should compare their estimates. Each group can discuss how they arrived at their estimates, and if any of the estimates seem far off.

5. Next, each student can take one of the shape outlines. One at a time they can see how many pennies will fill each shape. Each person in the group can record the actual amount in their math journals.

6. Together the class can discuss the results. Students can share how they came up with their estimations.

Assessment / Evaluation:

Students can be evaluated on the information they recorded in their math journals, and their participation in the group discussion.

Differentiated Learning Options:

After each group has determined the number of coins that fill the first shape (decide on a common shape for each group to test), the teacher may wish to review the estimates discussed earlier. Now, do any of the groups believe that their estimates were far off? Can they make a better estimate now that they have a stronger knowledge of the amount of space filled by a penny?

Students can create their own outlines of shapes and other objects to test with their groups.