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Estimation Lesson Plan

Please e-mail me if you would like the worksheets that accompany this lesson.


Lauren Frisina


Unit Title:           Estimation                                           Grade Level:                 5


Lesson Title:         Applying Estimation in Real Life 



Standard: 3

Key Idea: 6


Performance Objective:

     By the end of this lesson, the students will be able to:

+    Understand the importance of estimation

+    Apply the skill of estimation to their every day lives

+    Understand when it is and is not useful to use estimation

+    Accurately estimate different things



+    Pen / Pencil

+    Book Betcha, by Stuart J. Murphy

+    4 copies of the book

+    Construction paper

+    Scissors

+    glue

+   2 teacher made worksheets

+    Base 10 blocks



+   Tell students: Last night, I decided to bake cookies for all of you. I decided that you because you have worked so hard this week, you each deserve 3 cookies. I read the directions and found out that each batch makes 18 cookies. I knew that we had more than 18 students, but I could not figure out how many batches I needed to make in order to give each of you 3 cookies. I hope I guessed the right amount of cookies to make, otherwise someone might not get any cookies.

+   Can you all take a few minutes and try to figure out how I could have made sure I had enough cookies today. (remind students if needed,  that each batch makes 18 cookies, we want three cookies for each student, and there are 22 students in the class).

+    When the students are finished we will discuss their ideas. Then I will tell them how I estimated to make sure I had enough cookies. (The students will have the cookies at the end of the lesson)


Developmental Activity

+    Today we are going to continue talking about estimation.

+    Yesterday we discussed what estimating is, and how we estimate.

+    Today we are going to talk about why estimation is useful.

+    Can you think of some situations or scenarios where estimation is useful?

+    Ask students questions to evoke as many answers as possible.

+    Call students to the rug and read Betcha, by Stuart J. Murphy.

+    The students will first listen to the whole book.

+    Then they we will go back through the pages and discuss the different ways that the boy estimated to find the answers.

+    I will ask the students how they would have gone about estimating to find appropriate answers.

+    I will ask the students what kinds of operations can be useful in estimation, and evoke if necessary that all of the different operations can be useful, namely addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

+    After we discuss the skill of estimating, we will discuss why it may be important to estimate in different situations.

+    We will think of some real life situations where we use estimation. (I will evoke from the students times that they unknowingly use estimation)

+    We will also think of situations where it is not appropriate to estimate



+    The class will break into four groups.

+    Each group will be given a photo copied version of the book Betcha

+    Each group will be assigned one of the estimations from the book. They will have to describe how the boy found his answer, and how they would have found the answer if it is different from the boys method.

+    They will then have to think of a word problem that would accompany the given estimation. We will do one as a class so the students have a clear understanding of the task.

+    After that activity, the students will break into groups of two.

+    Each group will be given base ten blocks. They will be given one hundreds block, one tens block, and one ones block.

+    We will discuss that each square equals one unit. 

+    They will be given construction paper and asked to construct a building following the given directions on the attached sheet.

+    Students will be given questions that will pertain to their specific project.

+    We will discuss their findings as a class and evaluate whether their estimations were close. If any of the estimations are completely wrong, we will discuss how they could have more accurately found their answers.



+      Today we learned a lot about estimation. When you leave school today, I want you to think of all the different things that you do during the day that require estimations. I will give the students some examples to stir up different ideas. (How much time they take to get ready in the morning, how much milk to put in their cereal, and how much shampoo to pour out of the bottle in the shower). Ask your family to help you think of different things. I think you will be surprised to find out how often you estimate. The students will complete a worksheet for homework. The worksheet will help remind them of when we should and should not estimate.



+     I will then bring out a jar of Twizzlers and explain to the students that through the week, I will be giving them hints to help them accurately estimate how many Twizzlers are in the jar. The winner will get to keep the jar at the end of the week.