Lesson Plan

Fun, Fun Function Tables

Put the FUN! in function tables with this engaging, interactive lesson that will have your students generating their own patterns and tables.
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to generate arithmetic patterns within the context of a function table and determine rules based on the patterns therein.


(8 minutes)
  • Place a stack of books at the front of the room (about 12 books). Count the books aloud for student reference.
  • Draw a t-chart on the board and label the left column ‘stacked books.’ Write 12 in the column to denote the total number of books.
  • Invite a student to come to the front of the room and tell them to take one book from the pile. Then ask the class, "How many books are there left in the pile?" The answer is 11.
  • Label the right column of the t-chart ‘what’s left.’ Point out that after the student came up and took a book, there were only 11 books left in the pile (write 11 in the right column).
  • Invite a second student to come to the front of the room. Point out that there are now only 11 books stacked (write 11 in the left column), then tell them to take one book. Ask the class, "How many books are left now?" The answer is 10. Add to the t-chart.
  • Repeat until there are four students holding one book each and only eight books left in the pile.
  • Ask, "How many books would there be if we had five students who each took a book? How about 10 students?" Ask students to explain how they know (i.e. if every student who came up took one book, we can subtract one from the remaining books each time a new student comes up).
  • Explain to the class that this is an example of a pattern. Then, define the pattern’s rule. (i.e. in this pattern, we subtracted one each time a new student came up. We call that the rule.) Write ‘minus one’ or ‘subtract one’ on the board.
  • Tell students that today we are going to create number patterns and rules for the patterns.