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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Algebra: What's My Rule?
Subject: Math
Grade span: 1 to 3
Duration: 10 to 20 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Math Games


This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement Math Games. In this lesson students will use algebra skills and visual clues to determine rules for sorting and classification.

Learning Goals:


None necessary. For small-group play, you may use manipulatives such as buttons and two paper plates for sorting.


What to Do:

Teaching Tips:

This activity is designed to help students recognize patterns, and classify and sort objects based on what they do or do not have in common. Depending on your students' skills, you may want to begin by modeling the game with an easy example for a small group of students.
  • Explain that you are thinking of a rule -- one thing that students have in common -- that you want students to guess. You will put anyone who meets your rule in a small group to your right, and anyone who doesn't in a small group to your left.
  • Choose a rule that is easy to recognize, such as students who are boys, or students who are girls. Remember not to say what your rule is; you want students to guess.
  • As students take turns nominating others, ask guiding questions that will help students think about patterns and classification:
    • What made you choose that person?
    • What does your choice have in common with others in the "meets my rule" group?
    • How is your choice different from the students in the "meets my rule" group?
  • Once students understand the game, let them take turns coming up with a rule (students who are wearing red) and challenge them to come up with new and more challenging rules.

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.