Week 3 | Building Equivalent Cuisenaire Rod Trains - Play Discover Learn 24/7

Week 3 | Building Equivalent Cuisenaire Rod Trains

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Lesson Objective:

Students explore equivalency in the context of Cuisenaire Rods. 


Lesson Plan

Read "The Little Engine that Could"  by Watty Piper

After reading, discuss with students different ways that they can climb up and over a mountain.  

What kind of vehicle would you use?   Would you take the long way or the short way? What do you think the short way would look like?

Building Equivalent Trains Activity

Just like there are many ways to go up a mountain, there are many ways to build a rod train.

   Now I am going to build a train of just red and yellow.    What do you notice about the two   trains?  What is the same?  What is different?
  Can we use one rod to make the shorter train the same length as the longer train?   Let’s try.    Which color should we try first?   Did that make the train the same length?   Which color should   we try next?

Continue through each rod until the students discover the right rod.  Then set up a similar problem but with just a two rod train.   Now build a one rod train.   Ask the student

  Which rod will complete the length to make the shorter rod the same length as the longer rod?

Work through the rods until the students find the answer.

Math Journal

Have students build two rod trains and then a shorter one rod train.   Then ask them to find a rod that makes the shorter train equal to the two rod train. Students can record their trains on the free recording sheet.

More activities exploring and comparing trains are found in Math Task cards and play Mats Module 1.3. 

Extend Activities

More train building tasks can be found in the PDL's Module 1 Task Cards and Manual