K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • understand the concept of equal sharing through literature.
  • use related manipulatives to show equal shares.
  • explain solution through pictures and writing.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

45 minutes


  • The Doorbell Rang by Pat Huthchins
  • Pre-cut construction paper chocolate chip cookies (approx.80-100)
  • Index cards with a problem written out for each group
  • Ziploc bags (to put cookies and card for each group)
  • Sheets of Drawing paper (1 per student)


Introduce the concept of sharing by talking with class about times they’ve had to share. After an initial reading of the book The Doorbell Rang by Pat Huthchins, ask students what the problem in the story was. Talk about how the problem was solved (by sharing). Introduce the concept of division into equal amounts as a way to solve the problem. After the story, review the concept of how we share equally, and how the cookies in the story were shared equally.


  1. After reviewing the story and concept, the teacher will show the students by example how to share X amount of cookies between X number of people. The teacher will draw a picture of the solution to the sharing problem. Then the teacher will write the mathematical sentence below the picture (24/6 = 4).
  2. Students will be placed in small groups of 4-5. Each group will be given a bag containing a certain amount of paper cookies and an index card with a question written out on it (i.e., How can you equally share these 24 cookies with six people?)
  3. The groups will work together to use the paper cookies to work out their problem.
  4. Each group will then draw a picture of their solution. Groups will write the mathematical problem and solution below the picture (e.g., 15/5 = 3).
  5. Each group will share their pictures and orally explain how they solved their problem to the rest of the class.


  • Group monitoring during the activity
  • Verbal explanations of solutions
  • Completed drawings
  • Correct mathematical equations
  • A rubric for assessing group work could be developed by the teacher see Relevant Web Sites for assistance

Supplemental information


A great way to close up this lesson is to share some real chocolate chip cookies!

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 3

        • Operations & Algebraic Thinking
          • 3.OAT.2Interpret whole-number quotients of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 56 ÷ 8 as the number of objects in each share when 56 objects are partitioned equally into 8 shares, or as a number of shares when 56 objects are partitioned into equal shares of 8...
          • 3.OAT.3Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 1: Number and Operations - The learner will read, write, model, and compute with whole numbers through 999.
    • Objective 1.03: Create, model, and solve problems that involve addition, subtraction, equal grouping, and division into halves, thirds, and fourths (record in fraction form).