Sweet or Sour, Like or Different
In this lesson students will observe, compare and contrast differences in objects.
Comparisons of differences among people and lemons will be made, to help
students understand that differences make individuals unique. They will use math
skills to calculate and evaluate differences and graph their findings. They will use
different objects to create repeating patterns and respond to the essential question:
Are patterns alike or different?
Mathica's Workshop #2: The King Comes Calling
To get a copy of the video, please contact:
Students will be able to:
- Recognize, describe, extend, and create a wide variety of patterns.
- Graph collected data to relate physical materials to mathematical ideas.
- Determine ways objects that are alike and different can be used to create
- Compare and contrast in a variety of ways.
- Lemons (one per student or per group)
- Lemonade concentrate or lemonade-flavored Kool-aid
- My Lemon is Unique worksheet
- 4" x 24" colored paper strips
- 5-6 die-cut shapes (fifty of each shape)
Make two columns on the chalkboard. Write "Like" over the first column and
"Different" over the second. As a group, brainstorm examples such as: Like:
young/baby, Different: black/white. Let students work with a partner, and time
them for 5 minutes while they brainstorm a list. Afterwards, share examples. Give
sour lemon candies to the partners that have the largest list.
It is important that students have something specific to look for when viewing the
tape. Students will view three short segments of the video. Ask students the
following question for the first segment: "Who is Mathica, and what is her job?"
This segment helps introduce students to the video series. During the next segment
ask students to look for different ways to sort items. For the last segment have
students brainstorm how students in the class are alike and different.
START the video at the beginning for a brief explanation of Mathica and the
PAUSE the video after the song about Mathica. Ask students, "Who is
Mathica and what is she doing?" Have a class discussion.
For the second segment
of the video push PLAY and view ways the kings are alike and different.
after the sign appears that says "How many ways can you sort the king's pictures?"
Have students list different ways they would sort the cards.
After the discussion
push PLAY and view the third segment until the voice says, "Gee, who would of
thought there would be so many ways to sort things."
Next, students will play the game "Like/Different." Divide the classroom in half.
Designate one side of the room for things that are alike, the other side for things that
are different. Two students will come to the front of the class and pick a way to sort
the students. If students have something in common with the choice they are to
stand in the area of the room classified "Like." Those who do not have anything in
common will go to the area designated "Different." Allow several students to
choose the classifications. Examples for sorting might include: color of an item of
clothing, loose tooth, long hair/short hair, places they have traveled to, favorite
Assign a couple of students to be scribes. Have them write down the various
classifications and the number of students in each category of like/different. After
the activity have students make bar graphs of their findings.
Ask students how they felt during the game "Like/Different." Ask if they felt
comfortable when they were the only one who was different or when they were
different from their friends. Explain that sometimes when a person feels different
from others they feel left out and alone. The next exercise demonstrates that
everyone has differences, but that is what makes each individual unique and
Give a lemon to each student (if purchasing a lemon for each student is cost-prohibitive, ask students to donate one, or group students into teams with one
lemon per team.) Have students study their lemon closely and fill out the My
Lemon is Unique worksheet.
Ask for volunteers to introduce their lemon to the class. Afterward, allow 5-10
minutes for the rest of the students to circulate around the room, introducing their
lemon to the other lemons in the class.
Collect all of the lemons in a basket, and place them in the front of the room. Draw
a Venn diagram on the blackboard.
(Figure 1: Venn diagram)
Explain that, just like people, no two lemons are alike, though they may have
characteristics that are similar and different. Take two lemons from the basket. On
the chalkboard, generate a list of characteristics about both lemons, using a Venn
diagram. Write the characteristics of the first lemon in the first circle and the
characteristics of the second lemon in the second circle. Items that both have in
common should be written in the overlapping segment of the circles.
After completing this exercise, challenge students to find their lemon. Have
students share the various ways they identified their lemon. Compare ways the
lemons were alike and different. (They will use blemishes, shape, etc., to identify
their lemon.) Point out that all of the lemons were from the same fruit species, but
blemishes and growth patterns made them different. People are a lot like lemons.
All people belong to the human species, but people, like lemons, have features,
abilities, likes, and dislikes that make each individual different and unique. Discuss
differences that are visible on the surface, such as size, skin color, physical
impairments, where a person lives, etc. Also talk about inner differences that make
individuals feel different, e.g., some people are good at reading, doing math,
jumping the rope, playing soccer, etc.
Explain to the students that people sometimes think differences are imperfections or
blemishes, and they become sour toward that individual. Remind them that a
lemon has a different, very sour taste, but it makes yummy, thirst-quenching
lemonade when sugar is added. Sugar is acceptance of differences. Encourage
students to accept the differences in their classmates so no one will feel alone or left
Make lemonade from the mix. Incorporate math measurement skills as lemonade is
made and shared with the class.
Place the students' names in a jar. Have students pass the jar around the room and
take a name from the jar. If students pull out a name that is a close friend's, have
them choose again. The students will write a gratitude letter to this chosen
classmate. The letter should include a list of admired inner and outer qualities.
Have the students give the letters to their classmates.
Group students. Cut colored butcher paper in 4" x 24" strips. Die-cut 5-6
different shapes, such as various fruits, animals, geometric figures, etc. You will
need a stack of each shape. Have students glue shapes in various patterns on the
butcher paper. Then they will pass their pattern to the next group, and that group
must describe the pattern and predict the next element of the pattern.
Have students decorate and dress a lemon. They are to care for the
lemon as if it were their child. After the activity, talk about the responsibilities they
assumed, qualities a parent should have, different ways to give good care, etc.
In this game of follow the leader, players must find the leader. Players form a
large circle. A player is chosen to be IT, who leaves the room. A leader is chosen
from those who remain. The leader begins to perform actions, and the group
follows. (Explain to players that they are trying to fool IT, and not to be obvious
when they watch the leader.) Call IT back into the room. The leader continues
performing different actions, with the rest of the group mimicking. IT may need
prompting, such as, "Who are the players watching? Who is doing the actions first?
etc." Give IT three guesses to find the leader. If IT guesses correctly, IT becomes the
leader, and someone else leaves the room.
Have students listen to music that has a repeating phrase. Have them repeat
the phrase. They could write additional verses to the song. Write the phrase on
cards, hold up the card, and have them sing along with the song. Examples of songs
could be: "What a Wonderful World," "Where Have All The Flowers Gone," or
"She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain."
Click here to view the
worksheet associated with this lesson.
Master Teacher: Terri Denney
Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online