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Activity Info
Title: Determining the Whole Group
Learning Target: I am learning to synthesize when I read. I am learning to use number parts to determine the whole.
Grade: 1
Math KCAS: 1.OA.8
Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = ???? - 3, 6 + 6 = ????.

Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.

Title: Seven Blind Mice
Author: Ed Young
ISBN10: 039925742X
ISBN13: 978-039925742
Lexile Reading Level: AD350
Activity Descriptors
Formative Assessment Strategy:

Math – Exit Slip – Give students a number bond with the parts given and they have to determine the whole.

Reading- Give students verbal clues about an object. (This object 4 legs, spots, and a long neck. Synthesize what this object might be.) 


Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Boxes with objects inside that have holes cut into them for feeling

Recording Sheet for feeling boxes

 Unifix Cubes


Literacy Lesson:

Launch –

  1.  Read the book, stopping to question throughout.
  2. Questions:

Pg. 1 – essential vocabulary word – Blind – not able to see

Pg. 3 – What would make the mouse think that it was a pillar?

Pg. 4 – Look at the illustration. What is the second mouse feeling of? I wonder what the mouse will think that is?

Pg. 6 – Now we have seen 3 parts of the “strange something”. Can you synthesize what you think the strange something is?

Pg. 7 – The third mouse went on what day? What day will come next?

Pg. 12 – Has anyone else put together the clues to figure out what the “strange something” is?

Pg. 14 – Why do you think the mice were having such a hard time figuring out what the “strange something” is?

Pg. 16 – Do you think the white mouse will guess correctly what the “strange something” is?

Pg. 18 – essential vocabulary – Moral – A moral of a story is another way of saying a lesson that you learn. Do you think the mice learned a lesson? What lesson did they learn? Do you think that you could use the moral of this story to help you in your life?



  1. Partners will place hands into a box to feel objects. They will synthesize to determine the object. They will take turns feeling the object and describe what they feel to their partner. They will record what they synthesize on a recording sheet.



  1. Discuss with students how they blind mice were only able to feel part of the object, just like they were only able to feel part of the object in each box.
  2. Have students share their predictions based on what they synthesized for each object.
  3. Give students an opportunity to defend why they synthesized each object.
  4. Show objects to students.
  5. Address any misconceptions.
  6. Was it difficult to figure out what the objects were when you couldn’t see the whole thing and could only feel small parts?


Math Lesson:  

          Launch –

  1. Review the book to talk about how the mmice saw the parts before they could figure out the whole.



  1. Students will pair up. Partner A will build a number and Partner B will build a number. They will put them together to determine the whole. Students should be discussing the numbers they are building.

Partner A – “I have 5 cubes.”

Partner B – “I have 4 cubes.”

Partner A and B – “ 5 and 4 makes 9. We have 9 cubes all together.”


          Discuss –

  1. Compare how synthesizing in reading is like finding the parts and whole in math. 
Variations, Connections, or Follow-up Suggestions

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