Arithmetic Sequence Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Working on arithmetic sequences? Use this video-based lesson plan to teach the formula an arithmetic sequence. Students then learn reasons the formula makes working with an arithmetic sequence easier. Apply concepts during and after the lesson.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what the formula for an arithmetic sequence is
  • give reasons the arithmetic formula makes sequencing easier
  • demonstrate understanding of arithmetic formula in work and discussion


  • 50 minutes

Key Vocabulary

  • Arithmetic sequence
  • General term

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSF.BF.A.1

Write a function that describes a relationship between two quantities

  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSF.BF.A.2

Write arithmetic and geometric sequences both recursively and with an explicit formula, use them to model situations, and translate between the two forms.


  • Write a simple arithmetic sequence on the board or poster paper, such as '1, 2, 3, 4, 5.' Ask students to hypothesize what the string represents, then tell students they'll be learning about arithmetic sequence. Share prior knowledge.
  • Instruct students to title their math notebooks or a piece of paper for the lesson, then start the video How and Why to Use the General Term of an Arithmetic Sequence.
  • Pause at 2:04. Make sure students have the necessary notes; answer questions, then discuss:
    • How does thinking about how things grow over time help to understand arithmetic sequences?
    • Do all arithmetic sequences have an end?
    • Why do arithmetic sequences have a formula?
  • Resume the video, asking students to work along with the lesson.
  • Pause again at 4:08. Review content and answer questions. Ask:
    • Why do we use general term?
    • Is it possible to not use general term?
    • What are some real-life situations in which we use arithmetic sequences?
  • Play the Lesson Summary for students. Answer any remaining questions.

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