Category Archives: third grade

Dog pulling a travois

Travois, multiplication and 2-step problems

By Irish Pepito


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.D.8 Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.


30-45 minutes


In this lesson, the students will develop an understanding of the meanings of the four operations of whole numbers through activities and problems involving real life scenarios from Indigenous history. Students use properties of operations to calculate products of whole numbers, using increasingly sophisticated strategies based on these properties to solve using the four operations problems involving single-digit factors. It includes educational videos, games and video presentations that can be used for reviews and daily practice.


Computer or mobile device


First, watch a video for 100 second

Learn how to solve problems by breaking them down into easier problems (time 1:40)

Second, play a game

Menu with 4 choices, number, random, life , words
Choices screen: Instruct students to select NUMBERS

Let the students log in to Making Camp Premium to access the game. (Game links can be found under the GAMES tab.) The choices screen is shown above. Students are instructed to select NUMBERS from the screen above.

Menu for videos with six boxes

Students are tasked to play for 20 minutes. Students will demonstrate mastery in solving word problems like the one shown below and to be able to earn points within the game. For some students who aren’t able to master the standard will be given individualized instruction to master the concept.

Example of word problem following a video

Reinforce and assess what they have learned with a presentation

This Google slides presentation, Travois and Multiplication, gives a little background on how the travois was used by Indigenous people of North American. Within the context of building and using a travois, students learn to analyze a word problem and use appropriate operations in getting the correct answer.

Final video – See travois in action

Watch this short (46 second) video on how Lakotas used the travois


To monitor the progress of the students, there is data analysis that can be viewed on the Making Camp Premium data report. There are also four problems included in the Google slides presentation that students can complete in-class or as a work-from-home activity

Red River cart with baskets

Multiplication Review and Red River Carts


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.4 – Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers.

NCSS theme – The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world. 

Minnesota State Standard – History Sub-strand 4, Standard 15 “North America was populated by indigenous nations that had developed a wide range of social structures, political systems, and economic activities, and whose expansive trade networks extended across the continent.”


20 minutes

Technology required

Internet connection on a PC or Chromebook laptop, tablet, or phone.


Students watch a video on the importance of the Red River cart in expanding trade. The teacher presents (or students may read) a presentation discussing Red River carts followed by two related word problems. The lesson concludes with students playing Making Camp Premium, reinforcing multiplication facts and the Ojibwe history lesson learned.


Watch Red River Cart history video

Presentation on Red River Carts and multiplication

Use this Google slides presentation in-class or assigned online to review a little on the Red River cart and then solve two math problems involving carts and horses. In the first activity, the students drag the correct number of wheels to show 5 groups of 3 and then 3 groups of 5, both correct answers to the question. In the second problem, students drag 4 groups of 6 horses to solve the word problem.

Play a game

Students play Making Camp Premium (instructions on which activities are included in the slides presentation).

Wigwam from Making Camp Premium with items purchased with points


Making Camp Premium offers Data and Reports for teachers to access to view students playing time and the number of items answered correctly addressing each standard taught in the game.

Ojibwe Clans and Migration


NCSS theme – The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world. 

Minnesota State Standard – History Sub-strand 4, Standard 15 “North America was populated by indigenous nations that had developed a wide range of social structures, political systems, and economic activities, and whose expansive trade networks extended across the continent.”


40 minutes

Technology needed

Internet connection on a PC or Chromebook laptop, tablet, or phone.


This Ojibwe clan lesson for Grade 3 is focused on Ojibwe culture. Students learn where people and places are located and why they are there. They will become familiar with the causes, patterns and effects of Ojibwe settlement and migration. They will learn of the different population centers in Ojibwe society and investigate the impact of human activities on the environment. 


The downloadable Google Slides presentation is available here. This has a digestible summary of the Ojibwe migration, and why and how it happened. The Ojibwe clans are introduced as well as the new lifestyles that the Ojibwe adopted after they migrated to the Great Lakes area and Ontario, Canada.


Making Camp Premium can reinforce clans and culture studies using the Life section.

  1. Select the LIFE button from the main choice screen.
  2. From the LIFE choices, click on the box in the middle of the bottom row, the one with the four people, and watch the video about Ojibwe social structure. Answer the questions that follow the video. 
  3. Next, select the box on the bottom right. Watch the overview video on clans and totems. Answer the questions.
  4. Students can also click on each individual clan totem icon to learn more about each Ojibwe clan and answer a question about each of them to earn points.
  5. Return to the wigwam and trade with the points earned in this lesson.
Choices page for Ojibwe history in Making Camp

Alternatively, students may also play Forgotten Trail, which is an adventure game that homes in on the Ojibwe migration. Two kids in the game retrace the Ojibwe migration on their own and learn more about Ojibwe history along the way.


Teachers will be able to view student reports for Making Camp Premium to view how many modules students completed in the LIFE section and their scores for each one.

Animal Idioms


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.5.B Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

Time Required

45 minutes

Technology Required

Students must have access to laptops, desktop computers, or tablets with an internet connection if they are playing Making Camp Premium in a web browser. Teachers need a projector with a laptop to present the slideshow.


This idioms lesson for Grades 3-4 begins with a presentation, popular song about idioms, a list of animal idioms, two video games, and an idioms matching activity. Also enclosed is a book list for Grades 1-4 about idioms.

Note: This lesson can include the Idioms Book Activity (which needs paper, coloring tools, and some preparation time for booklet assembly).


It’s a piece of cake
  1. The lesson slideshow, Animal Idioms, begins with a song video about idioms and then a short warm-up using three idioms. The answers to the warm-up are provided. Students will gain more understanding of how some idioms can have the same meaning.
  2. Match the Idioms: Students can work together in groups, pairs, or individually for the Match the Idioms formative assessment activity with manipulatives. The answer key for the two sets (20 in all) is provided here. Distribute a copy of the Slides file and review the answers with them later, using the answer key.
  3. Use idioms in a creative writing activity: If you are remote or in class, students can pick some animal idioms from the Match the Idioms answer key to use in sentences, a short story, or a poem using their chosen idioms.


  1. Students can choose their favorite idioms to illustrate in their Idiom Book, which they can make themselves, for assessment. This activity is great for in-class activity as the materials are easily accessible, but can be done remotely as well.
  2. For formative/summative assessment, have students play Making Camp Premium idioms mini games so their game progress will be recorded and accessed from your teacher reports dashboard.


Students will play the Words section of the Making Camp Premium from our selection of Growing Math games. The Words section features four minigames that focus only on idioms. If they are remote, students may use their phone or tablet app or play using the web browser game link on a desktop computer. You will be able to monitor the student answers from your teacher reports account. This will also inform you if the students have participated in practicing using the video games.

Enclosed in the slides is another link to a web browser game about idioms offered from a standards-aligned website. You won’t be able to monitor the students on it, but it can be used as another potential resource for idioms practice.

8/8 = 1 Illustrated with a trail example

Fractions Equal to 1


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.2 Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.2.A Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts. Recognize that each part has size 1/b and that the endpoint of the part based at 0 locates the number 1/b on the number line.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.2.B Represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0. Recognize that the resulting interval has size a/b and that its endpoint locates the number a/b on the number line.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NF.B.3.D Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole and having like denominators, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.


45 minutes


This lesson plan will build upon the already introduced concepts and key terms of fractions in our “Introducing Fractions” lesson plan. Students will learn that a fraction N/N =1 and be able to solve problems with fractions equal to 1 in various contexts, including number lines, time and pizza.


Students will need a PC, Mac or iPad. Fish Lake is playable on PC and Mac through an online download and installation as well as on iPad through an App Store download. Students will also need access to the games


  1. Start the lesson by having your students watch the “Fractions Equivalent to 1” video. In this video, students are introduced to the concept of when fractions equal 1 and shown different examples. (This video is 3 minutes and 32 seconds.
  1. Students will take the information from the video and use it to complete the “A Fraction Can Equal 1” activity in this Google slides deck. In this activity, students practice grasping the concept of a fraction, N/N, equaling 1 through different real-world situations. (20 minutes)
  2. To end the lesson, students can play Fish Lake to further practice fractions. (20 minutes)


Assessment is built into the conclusion of the activity where students break apart the number line into N parts, label the number line, and state what fraction equals 1. The last activity problem will show if students have understood the concept of N/N = 1. Fish Lake data reports are also available for teachers to access after students have finished playing.  


Minnesota State Standards – Read and write fractions with words and symbols. Recognize that fractions can be used to represent parts of a whole, parts of a set, points on a number line, or distances on a number line. – Understand that the size of a fractional part is relative to the size of the whole.

Changing the order of the numbers in a multiplication problem does not change the product

Multiplication Terms


CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.B.5 Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide. Examples: If 6 × 4 = 24 is known, then 4 × 6 = 24 is also known. (Commutative property of multiplication.)

Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.


40 minutes


In class:

Printer to print cards. Computer with projector in classroom to watch video. Access to computers or tablets to play games.Students can also play on phones.

Link for flash cards if you don’t have two-sided printing. Students cut and fold the cards.

Link for flash cards if you DO have two-sided printing. Just print out one sheet and have students cut out the cards.
Hint: If using this as a center activity or for multiple classes, teachers may wish to make a few sets of cards and laminate them.


Computer with Internet access to view flash cards, watch video and play games.


Students watch a video on multiplication terms then review terms with flash cards. Students quiz each other with flash cards. The lesson closes with practicing multiplication and division by playing Making Camp Premium.


Watch video

Learn Multiplication Terms with Ms. Sancjhez

Perhaps you know the definition of a product and a factor, but what about the distributive property of multiplication? Have you ever thought about the Identity Property as a mirror or the Zero Property of Multiplication occurring because zero is a number that won’t share the spotlight? Learn these and more with Ms. Sanchez.

Make the Cards

I strongly recommend having students make their own cards. It saves work for the teacher, it is one more opportunity for students to see the material and some students learn better when physically engaged.

If you will be using printed flash cards, there are two downloadable PDFs.

If you can print two-sided, you can just print out these sheets. They can cut the cards out with scissors, with the term on the front and the definition on the back.

If your printer doesn’t print two-sided, you’ll find it easier to use these sheets because the definition of each term is next to it. The student can cut between cards and then bend in the middle of the paper to have term on the front and definition on the back.

Present multiplication terms to students (Optional)

Teachers may wish to present multiplication terms using this Google slides deck. Copy to your own Google drive and edit to add additional cards or explanation.

Review multiplication terms flash cards

Students review math cards individually.

Students can review using printed cards or review cards in a Google slides presentation shared with students . This activity should take 5-10 minutes.

Students review with classmates

After reviewing individually, students take 5 minutes to pair up and quiz their classmates. Students should take turns giving a term and asking for the definition. Students learning remotely can pair up with a classmate and take turns using the Google slides presentation to quiz one another.

Play a game

Students play the Making Camp Premium game to practice multiplication and division.


Making Camp Premium offers Data and Reports for teachers to access after students are finished playing. If you are remote teaching students experiencing low internet connectivity students can play offline but the data will not be transmitted to show their progress.

Icon for measure app

Measurement and Augmented Reality


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.B.4: Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or quarters.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.A.2: Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.


40-50 minutes


The teacher will need a computer with projector or smart board to show the presentation. Students will need a tablet or phone to do the activity and a measurement app installed. They will also need a ruler or tape measure.

This is the second of three lessons that use Augmented Reality apps. If you did the first lesson on perimeter, you already have one of the measurement apps installed.

You’ll need a measurement app installed.

Measure: For iPhones or iPads

Measure app

If using an iPhone, the Measure app should already be installed. On iPads, it may not be. Before starting this lesson, we recommend you check and, if not, parents or teachers can download the app for free here.

For Android Devices

Ruler app

Android devices do not come with a measure app. I tried several free AR measurement apps and all were difficult to use. I can’t honestly recommend any. Not an augmented reality app, but students can use the Ruler app by NixGame. It is simply a ruler on a phone and you can only use it to measure items the length of the phone/ tablet. We tried a lot of ruler and measure apps on Google Play and this is the one we recommend as the easiest for elementary school students to use and with the least annoying ads.


Students learn that augmented reality is a type of computer application that adds to (augments) the reality we see. They learn that the measure apps on phones and tablets are a type of augmented reality. Students use an app to measure items, then use a ruler or tape measure to measure again. They plot their measurements on line plots and compare the two measures.


Short Presentation on Augmented reality.

Use this Google slides presentation to explain what is augmented reality, with examples. It also includes the video below.

Watch a video of an augmented reality app

This one-minute video is also in the Google slides but it is included here just in case, since we know media doesn’t always play in presentations, even when it should!

Introduce apps your students will be using for measurement

Use this short presentation to explain how to use apps to measure, well, anything. If you already completed the first lesson on measuring perimeter and used this presentation, you may want to show it again to remind them and also to make the point that they were using augmented reality already and didn’t know it!

Measure Using Augmented Reality and Reality

Students find 10 items to measure using both the app and a ruler or tape measure. For each item, they complete the attached worksheet. Here is the same worksheet as a Google doc if are going to have them complete it online.

We strongly encourage the teacher to do one item with the class as an example. If your class has not yet mastered fractions, you may wish to tell them to just enter the whole number part of the measurement, as in this example.

Create two line plots

Optional: Watch this video on creating a line plot

If your students are not familiar with line plots, you may want to have them watch this seven-minute video which explains line plots step by step.

Now that students have watched the video and collected the data, their final task is to create two line plots of their results. Feel free to copy and paste the text below into your Google classroom or other assignment.

Line Plot Assignment

OPTIONAL: If students are learning online, they can use Jamboard to create a line plot, as shown in the video below.

You are going to make TWO line plots.

  • First, make a line plot of the ten measurements you did with the APP.
  • Second, make a line plot of the ten measurements you did with the RULER or TAPE MEASURE.

Now that you have your line plots, answer these questions.

  • Compare the two line plots. Do they look the same?
  • Compare your line plots with other students in the class.


You can assess student’s progress through the assignment completed which shows both their measurement skills and ability to create and interpret line plots.

Individualizing Instruction

For students who are more advanced, you may wish to have them measure items and complete line plots using fractions or mixed numbers rather than just whole numbers.

Related lesson

The lesson Finding the perimeter and physical education is the first in the unit of augmented reality lessons.

All About Sheep


Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.


This English language arts and agriculture lesson consists of two short activities that teach students in Grades 3-4 about sheep using an online ebook and flashcards about domestic sheep. The lesson ends with a formative assessment writing activity consisting of either an informational writing prompt or an opinion one.

Time Required

30 minutes

Technology Required

Access to computer or tablet for remote learning. Printing out cards for your students is best for this lesson.


Activity 1: Use flash cards to learn vocabulary

The sheep flash cards below can be used to pre-teach the vocabulary found in the All About Sheep book for 8-10 minutes.

Download ready-to-print flash cards

Activity 2

  • Click the link to access the ebook on Book Creator: All About Sheep.
  • Students may read the book on their own or alternatively, listen to it.
  • This can take 5-10 minutes.


Have students complete a writing prompt about what they learned after reading All About Sheep. This can take about 10-15 minutes. You can choose from the following writing activities.

  1. Opinion Writing Prompts
  • My favorite part of being a shepherd would be…
  • If I had wool, I would make…
  • If I could feed a sheep a snack, I would feed it…

2. Informational Writing Prompts

  • Reflect: Why are sheep important to us? What resources do they give us?
  • Reflect: Why do sheep need a shepherd?
  • Synthesize (Going beyond the text.): Why might it be important to put colorful markings on a ewe and her lamb?

3. Book Review

  • Write a book review about All About Sheep. Have students tell other young readers what the book was about. Have students include their own evaluation or interpretation about All About Sheep.


4 Choices - Numbers Life Random Words

Making Camp – 10 minute history


Minnesota History Substrand 2, Standard 3. Historical events have multiple causes and can lead to varied and unintended outcomes.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.4-Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.C.7– Fluently multiply and divide within 100


10 Minutes
These 10-minute lessons can be done as stand-alone activities at the beginning or end of a class to raise student engagement, or the three in this unit can be combined for a single 30-45 minute lesson.

Technology Required

Device with web-browser – Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer, phone or tablet


Ojibwe History Integrated with Math + History = Making Camp

That’s Making Camp in a nutshell, um, equation. If your students are like most people, you’re having a hard time getting them to focus. That’s why we’ve created short lessons for you. Each of these only takes about 10 minutes, teaches Ojibwe (Native American) history , multiplication or division. You can do these at the beginning or end of class as a warm-up, as an assignment for those students who finish early.

As the game introduction says …. let’s get started on Making Camp.

Lesson Plan

1. Download or follow the link to get started on Making Camp!

The game can be downloaded for any Apple or Android phone or tablet. It can also be played online. The links you need will be in the game pages for your device. You will have received the password to access this page in the training you attended. To access the games for your device, click the appropriate link below. These pages are password protected, but the password you received will work on all three pages. 

If you have forgotten your password, email, let us know the name of your school and mention in the email you forgot your password.

2. Students will need a username and password

We strongly recommend you assign the username and password rather than having students assign their own.

Watch the two introductory videos that explain about the Ojibwe migration and how to play the game. This will bring you to the choice screen.

4 Choices - Numbers Life Random Words

Click on the NUMBERS option which will bring up the screen below.


  • Click on the top left box (with cards) to play a memory game, matching multiplication problems with their answers.

The Multiplication Dog

  • This lesson opens with a paragraph explaining that some tribes used dogs to haul heavy loads, using a type of sled called a travois. The player then has the opportunity to earn a dog and items for their dog by answering multiplication problems.


Remember that you can always see your students’ performance on the problems in Making Camp Premium by accessing the reports page. You will need to enter the password you received during training.

That’s it. That’s your ten minutes of learning social studies and multiplication. Next post in this series: Trade for a wigwam

State Standards

Minnesota Math Standard – Use multiplication and division basic facts to represent a given problem situation using a number sentence. Use number sense and multiplication and division basic facts to find values for the unknowns that make the number sentences true.

Minnesota Math Standard – Demonstrate fluency with multiplication and division facts.

Trade for a Wigwam


Minnesota State Standard – History Sub-strand 4, Standard 15 “North America was populated by indigenous nations that had developed a wide range of social structures, political systems, and economic activities, and whose expansive trade networks extended across the continent.”


10 Minutes

These 10-minute lessons can be done as stand-alone activities at the beginning or end of a class to raise student engagement, or the three in this unit can be combined for a single 30-45 minute lesson.

Technology Required

Device with web-browser – Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer, phone or tablet


Today we are focused on the Ojibwe history part of Making Camp. As one of our very favorite middle school history teachers said,

History is more than names and dates. It’s how people lived, the things they used.

– Jose Gonzalez, Social Studies Teacher, Gompers Middle School, Los Angeles

Students will watch two brief videos, one on building a wigwam and one on trading between tribes. They then trade in the points they have earned for items for their wigwam. Clicking on each item gives information on how that item was used by the Ojibwe. If you did the previous ten-minute lesson, your students already have points. If not, they’ll need to earn some by playing Making Camp mini-games (just click on anyone of the choices on the main screen).

Lesson Plan

1. Click on the wigwam icon to watch two videos

Table of items to trade in wigwam with Making Camp Ojibwe

If you have been following along in order, the player now has enough points to get a wigwam and at least two items to supply their wigwam. 

NOTE: If the player does not have at least 1 point to trade, the wigwam video will not play and instead, he/she will be told that at least one point is needed to trade for a wigwam.

If the player does not have at least 3 points to trade (1 for the wigwam, plus two more) after the wigwam building video, h/she will be told that at least two points are needed for trading.

The first time a player clicks on the wigwam icon the on the bottom left of the screen it will play a video on how a wigwam was built. This will be followed by a second video that briefly discusses that trading existed between and within tribes long before the settlers came. The player then has an option to trade points for items for the wigwam.

2. Click on the inside of the wigwam image in the bottom right corner to bring the player to the wigwam where items purchased can be moved to decorate or interact. 

Clicking on an item will bring up a text box with information on how that item was used or obtained by the Ojibwe people.

Some items also perform actions when clicked. For example, the parfleche opens to show pemmican inside, the dog walks across the wigwam.

Go to the next lesson in this series, Rabbit Stew & Multiplication