Literature Connection:

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Mathematical strand:



Students will use percents to solve problems, see math in the real world, and make reasonable choices pertaining to percents

Grade Level:


Lesson Created by

Marilyn Kilgore, Susan B. Anthony Middle School, Manhattan, KS

Lesson Description:


  • Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, note cards, paper, pencil, and calculator.

1. Launching the lesson (engage)

  1. Warm-Up- each student will receive a note card as they enter the classroom. Each note card will have an occupation or math pertaining to an occupation. The students will try to find their matches. We will discuss any other math in these jobs once the matches have been made.
  2. Read the story

2. Developing the lesson

  1. Ask the students if they see math around them. Where? What? Ask students about percents in the real world. Ask students what percent means to them.
  2. Hand out Sense or Nonsense cards. The cards have statements about percent written on them. The students will read the statement aloud. The class will decide if the statement is reasonable or not. (Sense or Nonsense)
  3. Pose the question: What else could we use besides percents? Are there fractions, decimals and percents in the real world?
  4. Hand out the Problem Solving with Percents sheet. Students will work in cooperative groups to solve a variety of percent problems common to the real world.

3. Closure/Discussion/Elaboration

  1. Ask the students if percents are important to our world. Why?
  2. To further the percent experience, students will work with calculating tax and discounts.

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University