Lesson plan

120 Steps

What does it feel like to take 120 steps? In this lesson, students practice counting and completing word problems up to 120.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Counting to 120 pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Counting to 120 pre-lesson.

Students will be able to count to 120, and solve word problems up to 120. Students will devise strategies for keeping track of 120 steps.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that the focus of this lesson is working with numbers up to 120. Explain that the class will be practicing strategies to count and solve word problems up to 120.
  • Hand each student a pencil and clipboard.
  • Lead students to a large area, outside or inside, where they have space to complete 120 steps.
  • Gather students around you to give them instructions for their first activity.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out a copy of the 120 Steps Recording Sheet to each student.
  • Read the instructions on the Recording Sheet aloud to your students. Allow anyone with questions to ask you before moving on.
  • Ask your students to define method. Once a few volunteers have guessed, tell your class that a method is a a way or system for doing something.
  • Explain that each student will need to figure out their own method of counting the 120 steps they take. They must use the 120 Steps Recording Sheet to show their work.
  • Review the two questions at the bottom of the 120 Steps Recording Sheet, making sure students know to answer them at the end.
  • Depending on your class, you may choose to have students work in pairs.
(10 minutes)
  • If your class fully understands the activity and has experience with strategies for counting large numbers, they should start on their steps.
  • If your class is inexperienced with methods for counting large numbers, take time to brainstorm various methods for keeping track of 120 steps. Good questions include: How do we count? What is an easy way of counting large numbers? Popular methods include using tally marks, counting and recording in groups of fives, tens, or twenties.
  • Explain that once students are done with the Recording Sheet, they will be using their method to complete the 120 Steps Word Problems worksheet, which you'll hand out to them when they turn in the Recording Sheet.
(25 minutes)
  • As students count and keep track of their 120 steps walk around and help as needed.
  • If students are working outside and struggle with where to work, direct them to a open area, such as a field. Some students will need a lot of space, while some will prefer to work in a contained area.


  • Have advanced students practice methods for counting to 120 that are different from the one they used on their Recording Sheet. Encourage them to consider grouping numbers and skip counting.


  • Sit down with students who are struggling to discuss their methods for counting to 120. Are they effective? Together, brainstorm methods that make counting large numbers easier.
(5 minutes)
  • As students complete the 120 Steps Recording Sheet, make sure they answer the 2 questions at the bottom.
  • Ask them to describe how they kept track of their steps as they turn in their papers. This will be helpful to both make sure you understand what they have written, and to see if they can verbalize their understanding.
  • The 120 Steps Recording Sheet is a good assessment of their counting skills within 120 and will provide information about which students need more practice and who are ready to move on.
(10 minutes)
  • About 5-10 minutes before the end of the lesson, have students stop where they are at and bring them back together.
  • If any students are still working, tell them that it's okay (these will most likely be your students who will need more practice with counting to 120).
  • Once all students are together, ask for volunteers to share the method they used to keep track of their steps. Encourage these volunteers to explain why they think their chosen method was successful.

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