ALEX Learning Activity


Arrays in the Real World

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Jennifer Towles
School:University of Montevallo
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2553
Arrays in the Real World
Digital Tool/Resource:
Arrays in the Real World Google Slides Presentation
Web Address – URL:

Students will be introduced to arrays in this second-grade engagement activity. As students examine real-world examples of arrays, they will use terms such as rows and columns to describe the array. In a whole group discussion, the teacher will use student observations to highlight the different attributes of arrays that make them a useful model for repeated addition.

This activity was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 2
4 ) Use addition to find the total number of objects arranged in rectangular arrays with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns; write an equation to express the total as a sum of equal addends. [2-OA4]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.2.4- Find the total number of objects in two equal groups (limit of twenty total objects).

Learning Objectives:

The student will observe real-world pictorial representations of rectangular arrays with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns.

The student will describe real-world pictorial representations using vocabulary terms such as the number rows and columns.

The student will generate an equation to express the total number of objects in a rectangular array with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns as a sum of equal addends.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

  1. The teacher will call the students to the whole group area. Students need to be seated so they have a partner they can turn and talk to throughout the activity.
  2. The teacher will project the Arrays in the Real World Slides Presentation.
  3. When the image of the real-world arrays appears the students will observe the pictures and answer the questions, "What do you notice? What do you wonder?"

  4. The students will turn and talk to a neighbor. They will share what they noticed and wondered. They should share at least one thing they noticed and one thing they wondered.

  5. The teacher will begin by clicking on slide 2 so the circles and vocabulary terms appear. The teacher will introduce the terms on slide 2 and will reinforce the terms on the remaining slides. Vocabulary: A column is a vertical orientation meaning up and down. A row is the horizontal orientation meaning side to side.

  6. After introducing the vocabulary, the teacher will ask, "How many rows of eggs are there? How many columns of eggs are there? Is X an even number?  How does this picture prove or disprove X is an even number?"

  7. After discussing the above questions, the teacher will continue with the remaining real-world arrays.

  8. With each image, the teacher will walk around and listen to the students' discussions, making anecdotal notes, or using a checklist to make note of their observations. The teacher needs to specifically note the name of a student who states the total quantity of the objects as their observation. This student will need to be called upon to further the discussion with the whole group.

  9. The teacher will select several students to share. When a student shares they noticed there were X number of objects. The teacher will ask the following questions: How did you know? What made the quantity easy to count? If I was going to record the way you counted using an equation, what would the equation look like?

  10. The teacher will record the equation on the board or on chart paper. The teacher will ask, "Is there another way we could count and record using an equation?"

  11. Finally, the students will turn and talk to a neighbor to generate a definition for an array. The teacher will listen to the discussion looking for descriptions that include rows and columns.
Assessment Strategies:

The teacher will make anecdotal notes or use a checklist as he/she listens to students' discussions. There are 5 real-world arrays. He/She will make notes on 4 to 5 students in each turn and talk.

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher will need to print the checklist.

If the teacher chooses to use Flipgrid and does not have an account, he/she will need to set a free account (see Variation Tips).


Variation Tips (optional):

  1. For online asynchronous learning, present the images in Flipgrid and ask the students to record a video response.
  2. The vocabulary terms rows and columns are challenging for students. Print slide #2 for students to place in their math journal. You may want to duplicate the slide, then use the print settings to print two handouts per page. This will create vocabulary cards small enough to fit in their math journal. The students will use the vocabulary card for future reference.
  3. For homework, you may ask students to find real-world examples of arrays at home or the grocery store. They can take a picture of the array and email it to the teacher or submit it to Google Classroom. They may also upload the pictures as a Flipgrid response.
Notes or Recommendations (optional):

2019 ALCOS

4) Using concrete and pictorial representations and repeated addition, determine the total number of objects in a rectangular array with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns.

a. Write an equation to express the total number of objects in a rectangular array with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns as a sum of equal addends.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: arrays, columns, equal addends, real world arrays, rows