Main Subject Area: Mathematics
Duration of Lesson:
Using Judith Viorst's book "Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday" as a reference, students use several computation techniques to calculate how Alexander spends all of his money in no time at all.
Additional Subject Area Standard(s):
To achieve the standard of whole number computation, students will construct number meanings through real-world experiences and the use of physical materials; understand our numeration system by relating counting, grouping, and place value concepts; interpret the multiple uses of numbers encountered in the real world; model, explain, and develop reasonable proficiency with basic facts and algorithms; use a variety of mental computation and estimation techniques; use calculators in appropriate computational situations; and select and use computation techniques appropriate to specific problems and determine whether the results are reasonable.
A copy of the book "Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday" by Judith Viorst, several sheets of 12-by-8-inch paper, pencils, manipulatives (play or real coins), and calculators.
Coins Used in Lesson:
1. Read "Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday" aloud to your students.
2. Divide the class into pairs, and give each a set of coin manipulatives. Tell them that you are going to read the book again and that they are to remove the number of coins Alexander spends at each point in the story from their manipulatives. When you've finished the book, check to see if any pair still has "unspent" coins.
3. Hand out a large (12" x 18") piece of paper to each student pair. Ask them to fold the paper into tenths, and then have them draw a box around each of the ten sections.
4. Read the book again, stopping at each "transaction" so the students can record it on the paper. For example, have students write the amount of money Alexander receives from his grandparents in the first box. Then in the second box, have them calculate how much money Alexander has left after he buys all his gum. Continue this way throughout the story until Alexander has spent his last 20 cents.
Assessment / Evaluation:
Were the students successfully able to calculate how Alexander spent his dollar.
Differentiated Learning Options:
Have students write and illustrate their own stories about spending a dollar or fifty cents. If students have Web-publishing skills, they could transform their stories into online books.