Overview: This lesson showcases teaching interpreting remainders through drama.
This lesson has a major impact each and every time I teach it and it’s so SIMPLE! This math lesson incorporates Drama to teach interpreting remainders in 4th-6th grade math.
By acting out scenarios of real-life problems, students get the chance to emotionally and physically connecting to math that pencil and paper calculations just can’t provide. This math lesson focuses on cooperation and collaboration to solve a problem using the Actor’s Tools from which students can use critical thinking skills to master. We’re really hitting Common Core objectives, 21st century learning skills and Arts Integration strategies all in one lesson. Talk about an impact!
Give this lesson a try with your students during your next holiday season. It’s so much easier than fighting their excitement. Use that energy to help them truly understand what can sometimes be a difficult math concept to master.
Step 1. Introduce the Actor’s Toolbox to students and go through each tool so that students are familiar with their use.
Step 2. Present a math problem for students that they need to solve without using their voice tools. IE: get yourselves into groups 3 within 10 seconds. If there is a remaining student(s), ask students what we could do with that remainder. Write their answers on the board.
Step 3. Present a math lesson on interpreting remainders when dividing. Look at how to do that process and then ask what is reasonable to do with the remainders? Have students solve 2 word problems as a group and 2 word problems independently. Think-pair-share their answers.
Step 4. Have students gather back together as a group. Have them repeat step 2. This time, students will receive 5 minutes in their groups. They must depict the definition of division with their bodies using the Actor’s Toolbox in some way AND they must use one of the remainder students in their definition depiction. Model this for your students (ie: you stand with your arms straight. A volunteer student stands behind you with their arms in a circle above your head and a volunteer student stands in front of you with their arms in a circle by your feet – you just made the division sign with your bodies).
Step 5. Have each group present their division definitions using their Actors Tools.
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.