Literature Connection:

Each Orange Has 8 Slices written by Paul Giganti

Mathematical Strand:



Students will use pattern blocks to develop an understanding of algebraic generalization(pattern) in order to write a mathematical equation using algebraic symbols. Teacher will provide experiences from the concrete to the symbolic reasoning

Grade Level:


Lesson Created by:

Diane DeNoon and Diane Richards, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary, Manhattan,KS

Lesson Description:


  • Book-Each Orange Has 8 Slices by Paul Giganti, Pattern blocks, overhead of problem from "Building Algebraic Thinking with Progressive Patterns" by Bob Willcutt, Critical Thinking Press

1. Launching the Lesson

  1. Give a pretest to each student
  2. In a learning team the students will complete worksheet one
  3. Whole class instruction- build a design with pattern blocks on an overhead. Discuss vocabulary such as generalization, variable, pattern, mathematical equations, and etc.

2. Developing the Lesson

  1. Students will build designs using pattern blocks.
  2. Teacher will question the students. For example, Did you notice the pattern developing? How is the pattern growing? How many blocks will you need for the 18, 224, How will you find n?
  3. The students will fill out a T-chart to record their design and blocks.
  4. The students will use the "Think-share-write strategy to communicate their thinking on a worksheet.

1. Closure

  1. Each student will get a copy of a page from the book Each Orange Has 8 Slices by Paul Giganti.
  2. The students will complete a T-chart based on the pattern from the book page and complete a Think-share-write strategy with a partner to communicate their algebraic thinking.
  3. The students will write an algebraic expression that describes their pattern.
  4. Extension- Each student will make their own page to a book
  5. Post test the students

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