Putting two and 2 together
Supporting the transition from Literacy to Maths learning*
Lesson Plan (90 mins)
The following 90 minute lesson plan has been developed as part of Maths4Us, a joint initiative
between unionlearn, NIACE and the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) to
encourage people to tackle numeracy, take-up numeracy learning and have fun with maths.
It is specifically for use by literacy tutors and has a dual purpose. It can be used to stimulate interest in reading
by providing short texts on adult learners’ experiences of maths learning and on topical subjects that include
maths. It can also be used to stimulate discussion about maths in everyday contexts and the importance of
developing maths skills up to Level 2. The lesson plan provides the opportunity for numeracy and literacy tutors
to work together to signpost learners to adult learning opportunities in maths.
The texts are set at Level 1. Learners with Level 1 reading skills will often (but not always) have numeracy skills
at a level below and will benefit from numeracy learning as well. This lesson plan provides an opportunity for
discussion about feelings towards and experiences of learning maths, the role of maths and the chance to self-
assess maths skills in everyday contexts.
To introduce Putting two and 2 together as a source of reading for pleasure
To identify feelings about maths
To identify the maths involved in a typical day’s activities
To identify strengths and weaknesses in maths
After completing the lesson learners will have:
dipped into “Putting two and 2 together”.
explored their own feelings towards maths and maths learning
explored the maths content of a typical day
self-assessed their own maths skills in the context of everyday situations
considered opportunities to improve their maths skills
*Please note an additional lesson plan to support the transition from literacy learning to maths learning can be found at
(add link to Alvin Hall lesson plan). Alvin Hall’s Money Magic is a Quick Read publication. Quick Reads and resources
linked to literacy learning are available from The Vital Link and can be found at:
Lesson Plan – Putting two and 2 together
Please note the terms ‘maths’ and ‘numeracy’ are used interchangeably in this context.
Time Outcome Tutor activity Learner Activity Resources Curriculum
05 To introduce Tutor introduces the lesson and Learners listen to tutor. Ask Putting two and 2 SLlr/L1.1;
aims and outlines aims and expected outcomes any questions for clarification. together booklet 1.3; 1.4
05 Introduction to Tutor asks learners to look at the Learners discuss the title and Putting two and 2 SLd/L1.1,
booklet and its cover of the booklet and from the title, cover of the booklet; guess together booklet 1.2, 1.3
purpose. discuss what it might be about. Point at/discuss its purpose. Rs/L1.1
out the contrast between the written
word ‘two’ and the numerical
representation 2. (Additional activity:
Include explanation of ‘idioms’ . Text
linked to idioms p.12/13)
Clarify purpose of the booklet.
15 Identify feelings Tutor introduces the case studies in Learners look at example Case studies in SLd/L1.1,
about maths. the booklet by description and spidergram and work in pairs Putting two and 2 1.2, 1.3
explanation. Presents spidergram to produce own. Contribute to together Rs/L1.1
on feelings about maths. (Quotes whole group discussion on Spidergram of Wt/L1.2, 1.5
from case studies in booklet.) Asks feelings and experiences of “Feelings about
learners to work in pairs to produce maths. maths” (see
their own spidergram of thoughts and below).
feelings about maths. Takes Paper/pens/
feedback from each pair and pencils.
facilitates whole group discussion.
Include the fact that some learners
may have had a positive experience
of maths at school.
20 Introduce “A Tutor introduces worksheet “A Learners read first 3 paragraphs of Loose sheet Rs/L1.1
Baker’s Bakers Dozen” – asks learners to “A Baker’s Dozen”. Discuss title as resource “A SLd/L1.1,
Dozen” text read first 3 paragraphs and to think a whole group, identify meaning. Baker’s Dozen”. 1.2, 1.3
about the title. One learner looks up the meaning Access to internet
Asks learners to feedback on the of the phrase on the internet and
title – do any of the learners know reads to rest of class. Discuss the
what “A Baker’s Dozen” is? word dozen and how relevant the
Facilitate discussion about the number 12 is in everyday life.
language of maths by using the
number 12 and how it is relevant in
everyday things, e.g. inches to a
foot, 12 eggs in a dozen, 12 days of
Christmas; months in a year; old
currency 12p to the shilling;
15 Identify the Use first 3 paragraphs to encourage Learners complete a graffiti wall to Magazines, SLd/L1.1,
role of maths learners to think about maths in identify how maths is part of newspapers, 1.2, 1.3
in everyday everyday activities. everyday life. Cut out leaflets, adverts, Rw/L
situations. Ask learners to create a graffiti wall picture/words from magazines, journals, pens, Wt/L1.2,
of maths words, images that newspapers, journals or write/draw pencils, glue, roll 1.5
represent maths in everyday images to express. of wallpaper lining
contexts. Facilitates discussion Discuss as a whole group
about graffiti wall. afterwards.
15 Identify Tutor introduces the Maths Self Learners complete maths Self Maths Self Wt/L1.2
learners’ Assessment Checklist – links Assessment Checklist to identify Assessment Rs/L1.1
strengths and content to the content of the graffiti strengths and weaknesses in Checklist at back Rt/E3.2
weaknesses in wall. Explains purpose and how to maths knowledge. of Putting two and
maths. use it. 2 together.
15 Signpost to Tutor signposts learners to maths Learners listen to tutor and/or Maths tutor. SLlr/1.1,
numeracy learning opportunities or asks maths tutor. Ask any questions Leaflets and 1.2, 1.3
learning maths/numeracy tutor to come and about maths provision. information about Rt/L1.1
opportunities. give a short input on how maths is maths provision.
taught/learnt in adult learning.
“At school you daren’t say
anything – you feel like
“Now I realise the importance
everyone else knows what
of maths, especially with the
they’re doing and you’re
kids going through school.”
not confident enough to
say that you don’t
How do you “My children are taught
very differently to how I
feel about was taught, with number
maths? lines and bands.”
“Maths was an impossibility
for me. I was never able to
“Horrendous. At school you
did it their way or the