In this leafy, plant-themed lesson, students will use leaves as they practice recognizing various numbers from 1 to 15. This lesson can be easily adapted for use with specific ranges of numbers.
Students will be able to recognize and count numbers from 1 to 15. Students will be able to write numbers from 1 to 15, using concepts of one-to-one correspondence between objects and the written numbers. Students will be able to identify given quantities and totals, up to the number 15.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Have the students sit in a circle, and show them the brown bag that has the leaves inside.
- Invite them to guess what is inside the bag.
- Shake the bag so they can hear the sounds, and go around the circle, allowing them to feel what is inside.
- After the students have guessed, pour the leaves out in the middle of the circle, inside a hula hoop or circular piece of string.
- Tell the students that today they will be working on finding the total number of leaves on a tree as they create their own trees.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)
- Using the SMART Board file or the teacher modeling poster, model the process of counting the leaves on the tree and then writing the total number of leaves on the tree trunk.
- If desired, use student manipulatives to demonstrate with those materials.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Tell the students that they will be creating their own leaves and making a forest of trees that shows the total number of leaves on each tree.
- Make sure that students understand that the leaves are counted and the total number of leaves needs to be written on the trunk of the tree.
- For the next part of the lesson, you could either have the students create leaf rubbings or have the students trace templates of leaves and cut their own leaves from construction paper.
- Next, show the students how to create a tree trunk out of brown construction paper.
- Guide the students through the process of creating one tree that has numbered leaves and a total number written on the trunk.
Independent Working Time (15 minutes)
- Direct the students to continue working on creating trees that have a total number of leaves.
- Have the students glue their tree trunks and leaves on white tagboard.
- Next, ask the students to number the leaves and write the total on their tree trunks.
- Circulate around the room to assist students, as needed.
- Enrichment: Challenge students to help the mother bird find the baby birds in the tree by completing the Number Maze, counting the numbers 1 to 20.
- Support: For students who may work more slowly in cutting out materials, provide additional precut or prepared leaves for the students to use in their work. For students who have difficulty counting the leaves accurately, draw illustrations on additional SMART Board slides, and lead the students in counting the leaves. Consider integrating body movement, such as clapping or tapping each time they say a number.
- Integrate the concept of a family tree by having the students create a digital family tree where they include pictures of family members.
- Ask them to count the number of people in their families.
Related Books and/or Media
- GAME: Counting in the Kitchen
- Counting on Fall by Ashley Barron
- One Leaf Rides the Wind: Counting in a Japanese Garden by Celeste Davidson Mannis
- Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
- Leaves Fall Down by Lisa Bullard
- We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
- VIDEO: Leafy: The Leaf that Wouldn’t Leave
- VIDEO: Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Give each student a blank index card.
- Call out a number, such as the number 13, and ask students to draw 13 leaves on the card, writing the number 13 next to the leaves.
- Tell the students to turn the card over.
- Call out another number, and have the students draw and label the leaves.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Ask the students to raise their hands if they have a tree with greater than 10 leaves.
- Invite students to share their trees and show how they counted.
- Next, ask the students to raise their hands if they have fewer than 10 leaves.
- Again, invite students to share their trees with the rest of the group.