Lesson plan

Bear-y Fun Numbers!

In this teddy bear themed lesson, students will practice recognizing, ordering, and counting the numbers one through 20. Adaptable for any number range from 1-20, this lesson can be customized to target your students’ specific needs!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Order the Trains pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Order the Trains pre-lesson.

Students will be able to count and recognize numbers up to 20. Students will be able to use one-to-one correspondence to show the value of numbers up to 20. Students will be able to write numbers 1 through 20 and put those numbers in order.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Prior to the lesson (a day or two before), invite your students to participate in a show and tell and bring a stuffed teddy bear from home to share with the class. When students bring the teddy bears, label each bear with a “teddy bear name tag” that has the student’s name.
  • Introduce the lesson with a teddy bear show and tell.
  • Have the students bring their teddy bears up to the front of the room to practice counting up to 15. Tell the students that they will be learning how to count to 20.
(10 minutes)
  • Using the SMART Board file or print-outs of the teacher modeling cards, show the students how to start with the number fifteen and count up to 20.
  • On each slide, model the process of forming the number. Go back to the number 15 each time you model counting to a new number so that students will have the repetition of hearing the numbers multiple times.
  • Repeat, counting from 15 up to the numbers 17, 18, 19, and 20 and modeling the number formations.
(10 minutes)
  • Have the students sit in groups of three or four on the floor.
  • Distribute plastic bags of teddy bear counters and numbers to the groups.
  • Tell them that they will be counting the bears together and then placing the corresponding number under the teddy bear.
  • Tell the students that they will be taking turns putting the bears in order and finding the right number.
  • Ask the students what number comes first. Have the first student match up the bear and number 1.
  • Continue with number 2 and so forth, having the students continue to take turns and practicing counting to twenty.
  • After completing the guided practice, collect the plastic counting bears.
(15 minutes)
  • Using the black-and-white demonstration bears, show students how they will need to write a number inside each bear, color the bear, and put the bears in order.
  • Provide construction paper for students to work on, and distribute the teddy bear paper counters.
  • Have students number the bears from 1 to 20. Next, have them cut out the bears, color them, and put the bears in order on their construction paper mat.


  • For students who struggle with recognizing the numbers, provide a hundreds chart for them to match up the numbers in order. Provide students with the first two or three numbers in a sequence and have them add on to that. Have students clap and say the numbers with you as you point to the number. Assign the Toy Time worksheet for students who still struggle with counting up to 15.


  • Extend the lesson beyond the number 20! For advanced students, teach a mini-lesson that extends to 25. Supply additional counters, and have them practice writing and ordering numbers up to the number 25.
  • Have students create their own patterns of teddy bears by using Google Draw or another type of software or program to count up to 20.
  • Invite students to create a paper slide video counting up to 20, where they create one number per page and then say the numbers as the video is being recorded.
(5 minutes)
  • Direct students to mix up their number bears from the independent working time.
  • Ask students to find a specific number, such as the number 14, and then use the other numbers to count up to 20.
  • Repeat with various numbers.
(5 minutes)
  • End the lesson with a fun gummy bear treat!
  • Have the students sit in a circle, and give each student one gummy bear.
  • Tell the students that you are going to call on a student to start counting.
  • Direct the students to hold up their gummy bears when it is their turn to continue the count.
  • After counting up to 20 one time, choose another student to start counting and reverse the direction.
  • If desired, choose a class leader to write the numbers as the students count up to 20.

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