Culturally Responsive Math Lesson Ideas & Templates
Reshaping your curriculum is no easy task, so our team has developed a working library of culturally responsive lesson templates to help get you started.
Given that each classroom operates under different constraints, feel free to modify these lesson templates as needed. Rather than make assumptions about what your students are interested in, these lessons are structured to help you learn about your students and incorporate their varied interests into your curriculum.
These lesson templates align with Common Core Math Standards for 6-8th grade and follow the 5E Instructional Model. Our hope is that integrating these lesson ideas into your curriculum will create opportunities for you to engage in culturally-responsive teaching.
Adding & Subtracting Fractions
Two days before this lesson, ask students to bring in a recipe for their favorite food. It can be a home recipe that they get from their family or one they find on the internet, but one of the ingredients must be a fraction quantity.
The day before this lesson, pick a recipe that you want to focus on, and prepare for the Explore section.
The day of the lesson in class, ask 2-3 students to share the story behind the recipe they brought in.
Using the recipe you picked, give students tools that can be added or subtracted to get to the recipe amounts using 1) addition and 2) subtraction. Possible examples:
- Recipe calls for ½ cup of flour. Tell students they have 1 cup and ¼ cup measurement tools to get to ½ cup.
- Recipe calls for ⅜ cup sugar. Tell students they have ½ cup, ¼ cup, and ⅛ cup.
- Recipe calls for 1 ⅜ cup chocolate. Tell students they have 2 cup, ½ cup, ¼ cup, and ⅛ cup.
Use the addition & subtraction equations from explore to answer the essential questions below. Be explicit about needing the same denominator to add or subtract.
- How do we add and subtract fractions?
- How do we find the least common multiple?
Pick out a couple of recipes that have shared ingredients (i.e. they all use flour) and ask students to calculate the following:
- How much of each shared ingredient do they need to buy in order to make all the recipes?
- Provide students with a list of ingredients + quantities available to buy, and ask them to figure out 1) how many of each shared ingredient do they need to buy based on the amount they need and 2) how much do they have left of each shared ingredient after making each recipe?
Discussion questions from this lesson can include:
- Why can’t we add or subtract two fractions with different denominators?
- What’s another reason we might want two fractions to have the same denominator?
Be mindful of
This lesson requires some prep work - make sure you choose recipes and plan for the equations you want to use.