Rounding Lesson Plan: Determining When to Round Up, Down, or Give Exact Answers

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: 3-5, K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 2-4, students use BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the rule for determining whether to round up or down. Students then create and explain real-world scenarios in which both exact answers and rounding could be useful.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Review the rule for determining whether to round up or down
  2. Create and explain real-world scenarios in which both exact answers and rounding could be useful

Materials:

  • Internet and projector

Vocabulary:

rounding; estimation; digit; ones place; tens place; hundreds place

Preparation:

Provide students with plenty of practice in rounding numbers, and use this lesson as a culminating activity, review, or assessment. Preview the the BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP movies on rounding and determine which is more appropriate for your students.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Show the Belly Up comic from BrainPOP Jr. and/or the FYI Comic from BrainPOP. What do the characters mean by 'rounding' in their real-life examples? What does it mean to round numbers?
  2. Play the Rounding Game to review how to round numbers to the nearest 10. Ask students to recall the rule for rounding: how did they know whether to round up or down? Guide students to share that numbers with a 0-4 in the ones place round down and numbers with a 5-9 in the ones place round up.
  3. Project the Talk About It page for the class to see. Facilitate a discussion about when rounding might be a useful skill and when an exact number is needed. Type student responses into the page.
  4. Tell students you are going to play either the BrainPOP Jr. or BrainPOP movie on rounding. Instruct students to watch for examples of times when rounding is needed and times when an exact answer is needed.
  5. Ask students to write down two word problems, one of which requires an exact answer and one of which could be solved with rounding. Have students pair up and read one another's word problems and identify which needs an exact answer and which could be rounded.

Extension Activity:

More activities and background information to help you teaching rounding can be found on BrainPOP Jr.'s Info for Grown Ups page.