wNetSchool HomeThe Practical Web Service for K-12 TeacherswNetStation
WNET Educational Initiatives
Instructional Television
Lesson Plan Database

Jack and the Beanstalk Estimation
Grades 3-4


Students will use estimation and pencil-paper calculations to help Jack and his mother solve a variety of life problems. The students will solve problems using various math operations, i.e., addition, subtraction, and measurement.
ITV Series

To get a copy of the video, please contact:
TV Ontario
(919) 380-0747
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Students need to know how to add and subtract with 2-3 digit numbers. They also need to know how to borrow and carry numbers.

For Task #1: For Task #2: For Task #3: For Task #4: For Task #5: * at end of lesson

Pre-Viewing Activities
Read the fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk to the students. Have a jar filled with jelly beans. Tell the students that the jelly beans are Jack's magic beans. Hand out slips of paper, and ask the students to predict how many magic beans are in the jar.
Focus Viewing
It is important to establish a purpose for watching the video. The students will view three short segments of this video.

Segment #1: Instruct students to watch the first segment closely to determine what kind of shop Mathica is at.

Segment #2: Tell students to define what the word "estimation" means.

Segment #3: Instruct students to watch closely, as it shows ways to group items in order to make educated guesses of or estimate how much.
Viewing Activities
Segment #1:
START the video at the beginning. The first part of the video gives background knowledge about the program Mathica's Workshop.
PAUSE after Mathica says, "What do you think the workshop is used for?" At this point, elicit a group discussion and jot student predictions on the chalkboard.

Segment #2:
After the student discussion, FAST FORWARD the video to the frame where Mathica is looking at the bottle of Jack's beans. She says, "Wait a minute, Jack's magic beans."

PLAY the video. This segment talks about estimation.
PAUSE when a big voice booms, "estimation," and the word "estimation" appears on the screen. Write the word "estimation" on the board, and ask students what it means. Afterward have students study the bottle of beans in the video and guess how many beans are in the bottle. Ask students to share methods they used to guess how many beans were in the bottle.

Count the jelly beans in the classroom jar. The students with the closest guess wins the estimation jar. They are to return the jar filled with a different item, and the estimation guessing continues. This activity can be repeated throughout the year.

Segment #3:
PLAY the video. This segment shows magical ways to organize items for counting.
PAUSE after Mathica says, "Who are you?" Tell the students they are going to learn how important estimation can be.
Post-Viewing Activities
Task Centers:
Place students in cooperative groups, four students/group. Each group will rotate through five learning centers, spending 15-20 minutes at each site. The teacher will ring a bell when each session ends. Each station in the center includes a task card with instructions* and a packet of supplies. Students are to follow instructions on the task cards to complete the activities. Centers include:
  1. Estimate a bean's growth. Students plant and observe the growth of beans.
  2. Estimation story problems. Students write, estimate answers to, and solve story problems.
  3. Counting estimation--How many beans? Students practice estimating and counting various items.
  4. Subtraction estimation--How many groceries for a hen? Students use subtraction in a real-life situation.
  5. How far to Giantsville? Students construct maps and use estimation and calculation while measuring distance on a map.
Action Plan
To bring closure to the lesson, ask students why estimation is important. Have students tell ways they use estimation in their daily life.
Language Arts:
Use writing extensions to the story of Jack and the Beanstalk; for example, a different ending, or telling from another character's perspective (the giant's, etc.).

Have students participate in various physical activities, such as running, jumping, skipping, etc. Ask students to estimate the distance they travelled. Then measure the distance. Students are to compare estimations with calculations.
Click here to view the first worksheet associated with this lesson.

Click here to view the second worksheet associated with this lesson.

Click here to view the third worksheet associated with this lesson.

Click here to view the fourth worksheet associated with this lesson.

Click here to view the fifth worksheet associated with this lesson.

Click here to view the sixth worksheet associated with this lesson.

Master Teacher: Terri Denney

Top of lesson

Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online