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ESL Lesson Plans

Free ESL Math Lessons: Counting to a Million

In this exciting and fun lesson, your ESL students will laugh, play games, sing, and learn. It includes two assessments, one song, and a game! Enjoy!

Objective: The students will be able to recognize numbers, count by tens, and write up to 1,000,000. They will play games and make art that reinforces their learning.

When the students walk in the door, begin counting, starting at 0. Continue counting out loud as the students enter the room. Your students will most likely become curious as to why you are counting so much and will begin to ask you questions. Listen to their questions but keep counting. You choose what number you stop at, but I suggest at least 200 so that the students get a real feeling of how long it takes to count that high. If students begin to count with you smile with them.

How much is a million?
Write the following on the board, “I believe it would take __ days to count to a million.” Now ask the students to take out their notebooks and write their answer to that question.

When they finish write the calculation:

1,000,000 seconds = 16,666.6 minutes = 277.7 hours = 11.5 days

Say "If I said one number every second for 11 and a half days I would reach one million."

This means that if you count one number every second it would take 1,000,000 seconds, or 11 and a half days, to reach one million.

1,000,000 seconds / 60 = 16 666.6 minutes

16 666.6667 minutes / 60 = 277.7 hours

277.777778 hours /24 = 11.5 days

If you have a prize you should give it to the student who was closest to 11.5 days.

Singing by Tens
The major scale, better known through the notes DO RE ME FA SO LA TE DO, can be sung with the numbers 1 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 10,000,000. Write the aforementioned numbers on the board and begin by singing these alone and having the students simply listen. Then, have the students sing each note after you. Repeat this until you can move up and down the scale with relative ease. When this is possible have everyone sing along. If you are really talented, you can clap a beat as well or play a musical instrument along with the song. My audio version is located here.

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