5th Grade Math Home > Teacher Resources > Notes > Real Life Activities: Overview of the Lesson

Real Life Activities: Overview of the Lesson


  • Real-life activities used in the classroom expose children to math in their everyday world.

Review Previous Work

  • Using picture books helps students see how math is used every day.
  • Students used math journals to discuss math topics they had learned previously.
  • The concepts they discussed included fractions, layering and measuring.

Group Work

  • Using a recipe is one way to use math in a real-life context.
  • Adjusting recipes allows students to work with fractions.
  • Fractions can also be discussed when cutting a cake.

Solving Problems with Students

  • As students work together in small groups teachers can observe difficulties that students have.
  • Individual problems can be solved one-on-one.
  • Problems that many students have can be addressed in whole class discussions.

Fractions: A Mini-Lesson

  • One group tried to solve the following multiplication problem:

    2/3 x 4

  • As a whole class the problem was discussed and strategies were shared.
  • By changing the problem to addition, the students were better able to understand and reach a solution:

    2/3 + 2/3 + 2/3 + 2/3 = 8/3

Expanding the Activity

  • Giving each group a different recipe increases the variety of problems students can solve.
  • Some recipes serve 4 to 5 others 6 to 8 and others 10.
  • Sharing their adjusted recipes with the class allows them to discuss the math concepts involved.

Cooking: A Real-Life Experience

  • The class talked about safety rules such as using a fire extinguisher, using potholders, and keeping hair and flammables away from fire.
  • Math is clearly used in cooking when discussing the use of standard and non-standard measuring tools.


  • Having students write in math journals is one means of assessment.
  • Students explain how they see mathematics in the real world.
  • As they verbalize their learning, they must organize their thoughts and clarify their thinking.
  • Sharing journals with the class allows students to learn from each other.

5th Grade Math Home > Teacher Resources > Notes > Real Life Activities: Overview of the Lesson