Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What's the Mean?

Kaye Maddox
Bay District Schools


What's the Mean? Using concrete objects, the students will be able to identify the mean from numbers chosen by the students.


The student uses concrete materials to determine the mean in a set.


-Overhead projector
-25-30 counters to be used on overhead
-1 small gift bag
-Two cards of each number from 1-7
-Checklist (See attached file)
-Activity sheet What’s the Mean? (See attached file)
-4 colored markers or chalk
-Marker board or chalkboard


1. Print out lesson plan and all associated files.
2. Prepare gift bag with numbers.
3. Make sure markers and marker board or chalk and chalkboard are available for student use.
4. Have counters placed by overhead. (I would use some kind of counter that was transparent made for the overhead.)
5. Go over steps the students will be expected to do when they come to the overhead to make the groups.
6. Make student copies of activity sheet What’s the Mean? (See attached file.)
7. Make copies of checklist. (See attached file.)
8. Go over assessment method you will use.


1. Have a small gift bag with two cards of each number from 1-7.

2. Tell students that they will be drawing numbers from the bag and placing counters on the overhead to represent that number.

3. Tell students that they are going to practice finding the mean of the numbers drawn out of a bag.

4. Review how to find the mean. The mean is also known as the average. The mean is the sum of all the numbers that you have drawn from the bag divided by how many numbers there are. Discuss with the students how important it will be to add the numbers carefully and count out the counters carefully.

5. Call on a student to come to the front and draw out three numbers. As each number is drawn, place that many counters on the overhead. After drawing three numbers, ask the students how many numbers were drawn. This will be how many groups we will make on the overhead. Since three numbers were drawn, the student will take each counter and place them in groups until all counters are placed. A student could also draw this on the board to show other students how it would look.

6. After counters are placed, the student will tell how many are in each group, and the teacher will remind them that the mean is taking the sum of the numbers and dividing by how many numbers there are.

7. This will be done several times as the students practice the concept.

8. Teacher will guide students who have difficulty.

9. Each student would have the option of drawing three, four, or five numbers. I would not recommend choosing more than five numbers at the beginning.

10. Review concept discussed with students and use the checklist to check off each name as the student is able to show that they understand the concept. If time does not allow for each student to do this individually, an activity sheet can be included so that a student has an opportunity to draw the groups rather than moving the counters on the overhead. The teacher can then provide feedback to the students at each step of the process and give individual help as needed. This is not a paper to be used for grading purposes.


The evidence will be that the student will use concrete materials to determine the mean in a set. The criteria for understanding will be that the student will show what they know by showing how to find the mean when called upon to come to the overhead. The teacher will mark the checklist when the student shows they understand by working at the overhead or on the board. The What’s the Mean? activity sheet can also be used if time does not permit each student coming to the overhead.


Extension could include making sets of numbers and counters for students to take home and do extra practice.

Attached Files

A checklist and worksheet for What’s the Mean?     File Extension: pdf

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