Grade levels 

Trimathlon Lesson Plan


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Grade level:



Students will demonstrate ability to add and subtract mentally.  They will also demonstrate ability to form number sentences involving addition and subtraction based on word problems.

Common Core Standards:

The main activity and assessment activity reinforces standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.B.3 and CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6 for grade 1.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2 for grade 2. 

The warm-up activity reinforces standards

Warm-Up Activity: Opening Ceremonies

Teacher explains to students that addition and subtraction are everywhere, even in the Olympics.  Students watch part of the athletes’ parade in the opening ceremonies and think of things to add and subtract.
(This clip is very long)

Students brainstorm possible math problems to be found in the opening ceremonies. See examples below:

  • White stripes on the U.S. flag plus white stripes on the Greek flag
  • Number of competitors from Lebanon minus number of female competitors from Lebanon = number of male Lebanese Olympians
  • Number of gold medals won by Brazil + number of silver medals won by Brazil + number of bronze medals won by Brazil

Main Activity:

Students should watch the instructional video for Trimathlon before playing Trimathlon on classroom computers or iPads.

Assessment Activity: Friendly Trimathlon Math Tournament (in MATH TEAMS)

Break students up into four teams (teams should have the same number of students or you will need to use an alternative scoring method as described below) and allow them to choose a nation of interest.  Use the attached sheets to set up a math tournament in addition and subtraction.  Explain the concept of tournament (if necessary) After teams have chosen their nation of interest, (have them choose from the five nations on the flag sheet) choose which teams will compete against each other in the first round of the tournament and paste the flags in the appropriate places on the tournament sheet.  Display the tournament sheet in a prominent location.

You can click here to see a sample of how a Trimathlon tournament appears on the tournament sheet

Explain to students that there are two “matchups.” In each matchup, participants have one minute to answer as many math problems on a special worksheet as possible. Everyone answers at the same time. After one minute, the teacher will collect the sheets and tabulate the total number of correct answers for each team. The team with the greatest number of total correct answers in each matchup wins and moves on to the finals, where the winning teams battle each other using new sheets (attached).

Pass out the attached Trimathlon Round 1 in Addition/Subtraction and Round 2 in Addition and Subtraction Pages