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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Number and Operations: Largest Number Race
Subject: Math
Grade span: 3 to 5
Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Finding Math


This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement the Finding Math practice. In this activity, students design a relay race to compare whole numbers and compete to create the largest 10-digit number.

Learning Goals:



For each team, place ten strips of masking tape on the floor with each strip representing a placeholder for a ten-digit number, and small pieces for the commas. For example:
_____, _____ _____ _____, _____ _____ _____, _____ _____ _____

What to Do:

Teaching Tips:

  • Begin by reviewing the objective of the game and making sure that the steps are clear to students. The goal of the game is to come up with the largest number. See if students can figure out that larger numbers should go at the beginning of the number (9,000,000,000) and smaller numbers at the end. However, this is a game of chance and strategy. Students can't move the numbers once they have placed them.
  • Encourage students to come up with fun obstacle courses that include activities that are fun, challenging, and accessible to all students. If students are physically challenged and can't participate in the obstacle course, they can be the ones who roll the dice.
  • Use guiding questions to encourage students to justify and discuss how each team came up with their number. Use the sample questions below or develop your own.
  • What strategy did you use to make the largest number?
  • Was it a good strategy? Why or why not?
  • What strategy would you like to try in the next round?
This type of questioning should occur several times throughout the relay. Students should refine their strategies once they understand the game. Give each team time after each round to discuss a strategy for the next round.

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.