Week 1 | Naming Cuisenaire Rods - Play Discover Learn 24/7

Week 1 | Naming Cuisenaire Rods


For students and teachers to establish proper names for the Cuisenaire Rods.


  • Small Group Set of Cuisenaire Rods
  • "The Change Your Name Store" by Leanne Shirtliffe
  • FREE Math Art Journal Printable and crayons 
  • An imagination

Read “The Change Your Name Store” by Leanne Shirtliffe

Ask the students the following questions:

      Have you ever wanted to change your name?

     What happened when Wilma Lee Wu changed her name? 

     Why do you think these names didn’t fit her?

     Do you think a name should fit you?

     How does your name fit you?

     Remember the little blocks you played with earlier?   We are going to give them names.  Just like Wilma Lee Wu wanted a name that fit her, these rods need names that fit them.  

Naming Rods Activity

At this point, hold up one rod.   Ask a student to name the color of the rod.  Hold up a different color rod.   Ask a student to name the color of the rod.  Continue going through the rest of the rods naming the color of each rod. 

       Do you think color names are good names that fit these rods?  Why?

Students may have determined from free play that all the purple rods are the same size, all the reds are the same size, etc.   They may justify their answers with these conclusions.  Ask them to show you with rods what they mean, especially if they struggle to articulate the answer.

Activities to reinforce the concept that all rods of the same color are the same size see Module 1  task cards and play mats 1.1 a - c  Encourage free play with the rods all week and even ask them to color a picture of one of their creations using the journal page, Math Art Journal

Math Journaling​

Offer the children free activity page to draw a picture of their Cuisenaire Rod masterpiece.   You can even offer to read the story again while they draw.