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War Pretzels Lesson Plan

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Grade level:



Students will demonstrate ability to perform addition and subtraction calculations mentally.

Common Core Standards:

This lesson reinforces standard CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2 for grade 2.
Descriptions of the standards can be found here.

Warm-Up Activity:

Teacher asks students about strategies for performing addition and subtraction calculations.  The class brainstorms together; students may mention strategies such as drawing, finger counting, memorization, etc.

Then, teacher distributes the Pretzels Addition & Subtraction Worksheet (  Teacher explains the idea is to EXPLAIN to math-challenged pretzels how to complete two-digit addition and subtraction problems in a step-by-step manner.

Main Activity:

Students play War Pretzels on classroom computers or iPads. Students should watch instructional video prior to playing (

Assessment Activity: Live Action War Pretzels

Each student makes up a pretzel persona and draws a picture of his/her pretzel self, writing his/her pretzel name somewhere on the page.  When two students are to compete, they tape their pretzel persona pictures to the chalkboard and assume arm wrestling position sitting across a desk or small table from each other.  The teacher reads of an addition or subtraction problem, and the first student to call out the correct answer moves the other’s arm slightly toward the desk (approximately one fifth of the way, as there are five points between “neutral” and “win”).  Thus, each correct answer gains a slight advantage.  While this is going on, the other students watch and try to answer in their minds.  The first student to move his/her opponent’s arm all the way down to the desk (by answer five consecutive questions, win six and lose one, win seven and lose two, etc.) wins, and another pair of students then competes.  The game can also be played tournament style.