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Lesson Plan: Counting in Hawaiian

GRADE LEVEL: middle school 6-8 LESSON LENGTH: 45 minutes

TYPE OF CLASS: math MAJOR GOAL OF LESSON: learn how to count in Hawaiian

through the use of music.


5.1 Perceive, describe, and respond to basic elements of music, including beat, tempo, rhythm, meter, pitch, melody, texture, dynamics, and form.

10.1 Integrate knowledge of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts and apply the arts to learning other disciplines.


Guiding principle I of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks:

Mathematical ideas should be explored in ways that stimulate curiosity, create enjoyment of mathematics, and develop depth of understanding. (math frameworks, pg 7).

6.D.1 Describe and compare data sets using the concepts of median, mean, mode, maximum, minimum, and range.

a) Plans Curriculum and Instruction.

b) Delivers Effective Instruction.

c) Manages Classroom Climate and Operations

d) Promotes Equity

e) Meets professional Responsibilities.

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: The student should be able to count up to ten in Hawaiian, have learned the melody of the song used in the lesson, and be able to solve math problems using the Hawaiian number names.

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED: one music tape with the recording of the song that accompanies the book,  Learn to Count in Hawaiian by Keiki Chang Kawai. About 10-20 books (depending on the number of students and if students will be sharing books) will also be needed to enhance the lesson. Copies of math problems that involve the use of Hawaiian numbers for each student will also be needed.



1) The teacher should begin the class by giving the students some background about the Hawaiian culture (if they have not already learned about it in their social studies classes). The teacher could give a general overview about the main aspects of the culture and physical attributes of Hawaii. This should take about ten minutes of the lesson.


a) The class should then proceed with listening to the short song that teaches the student how to count in Hawaiian through aural learning. The song is relatively short, about 4 minutes and 40 seconds. The Hawaiian names of the numbers should be clearly printed on the chalk board, especially if there are not enough books for all the students.

b) After listening to the song, practice the pronunciation of the Hawaiian words. The teacher should speak the words one at a time and the students repeat after. After the students begin to learn the pronunciation, let them try as a group without the assistance of the teacher.

c) Have the students try to sing the song that teaches the Hawaiian numbers. It is a fairly simple tune that can be learned quite easily after one listens to it a few times. The first time the students attempt the song, it may not be perfect. Be sure to play it several times so they understand the idea of it (but no more than three or else it will become monotonous).

d) The final activity for this lesson involves the students using the new Hawaiian words in their math problems. The teacher can devise the problems to their liking.

An example could be, Ekahi + Ekolu = ? (Eha). (answer: 1+ 3 = 4)

The teacher could also use word problems such as: Keiko went to the store and bought elua bananas. Tom saw her on the way home and gave her umi bananas. How many bananas did Keiko have when she got home? (answer: 2 + 10 = 12)

The teacher should feel free to integrate relevant concepts at his or her discretion.

For example: Heidi pulls four (eha) numbers out of a bingo bowl. The numbers are Ekahi, Elima, Eono, and Umi. What is the range of these numbers?; This problem emphasizes the concept of range (part of the frameworks).

GRADING RUBRIC: (The teacher could use a few of these guidelines when evaluating the students' performance. They should use the three rubrics, above average, average, and below average in their assessment.)

1) Was the student actively participating in the lesson? (above average, average, or below average)

2) Did each student learn how to count to ten in Hawaiian? (same rubrics apply)

(could be observed through small group attempts)

3) Did the student make a constructive attempt to learn the melody of the song?

(Again, this could be observed through small group attempts)

4) Did the student accurately complete the Hawaiian math problems assigned?

(The teacher could collect the papers and grade them)


a) The most challenging aspect of this lesson may be learning the Hawaiian counting song. I don't think this will cause too much difficulty though. As a preventive measure, the students could learn the song in their music class if major difficulties arise. The music teacher could also work with the math teacher to help him/her learn the song. The music teacher could also offer the other teacher suggestions on how to teach the song.

b) Another obstacle could be making sure everyone is actively participating. This could be over come by letting the students know what the teacher is looking for in the grading of the lesson. Let the students know you are watching if they are participating. Also, if the teacher addresses the students in small groups students may feel the need to participate more. And overall, create a positive, fun atmosphere. If you are enjoying yourself the students will notice and hopefully enjoy this lesson as well.


After this lesson, students will have gained more knowledge about the culture of Hawaii, learned to count in Hawaiian, practiced their listening and singing skills, and will have applied their new knowledge to practical classroom math problems.


Overall, this lesson integrates math, music, and English. This is a great way to make math fun and more interesting to the students. The teacher should feel free to amend this lesson to their classroom needs. They could also integrate this lesson idea for whatever concepts the class is currently working on.

Hawaiian Numbers
Ekahi one
Elua two
Ekolu three
Eha four
Elima five
Eono six
Ehiku seven
Ewalu eight
Eiwa nine
Umi ten

Grading Ruberic Subject:
High Achievement
Good Achievement
Poor Achievement
The student displayed close attention to classroom instructions and was able to execute the task at hand.
The student displayed close attention to classroom instructions but took time to execute the task at hand.
The student displayed little or no attention to classroom instructions and had trouble executing the task at hand.
Class Particpation
The student portrayed excellent class particpation by asking and answering questions.
The student portrayed good class particpation by asking and answering a minimal amount of questions.
The student portrayed little or no particpation in asking and answering questions.
Cultural Understanding
The student displayed an affection for learning and understanding the aspects of the culture of Hawaii.
The student displayed semi-affection for learning and understanding the aspects of the culture of Hawaii.
The student displayed no affection for learning and understanding the aspects of the culture of Hawaii.