Lesson plan

Beat the Drum

Make some noise by counting! Help your preschoolers count from one to 10 while strengthening their fine motor and interpersonal skills.
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Students will be able to count to 10 using one-to-one correspondence. Students will practice their fine motor skills.

(5 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by explaining to your students that they will play a game about counting cubes, or determining how many cubes there are.
  • Tell your students that they will use tongs to put one-inch cubes into a container. After putting all 10 cubes into the container, inform them that they can strike the drum with a drumstick.
  • Inform your students that they will then switch positions with another student so that everyone gets a chance to count and strike the drum.
(5 minutes)
  • Separate the class into two equal groups, and have each group sit around one container.
  • Place 10 cubes and one pair of tongs by each container. Put the drum and drumsticks between the groups.
  • Have one student in front of each container at a time.
  • Demonstrate how to hold and use the tongs to pick up one cube.
  • Discuss whether or not the piles have the same amount of cubes, or if they are equal. Potential discussion questions include: Do the piles look equal? How can we check to make sure that there are the same amount of cubes in each pile?
  • Have someone from each group count the number of cubes. Suggest that since both groups have 10 cubes, the groups are, indeed, equal.
  • Instruct your students to place the cubes into the container with the tongs when you give a signal.
  • Ask them to count using one-to-one correspondence while placing their cubes in the container. For example, if a student is putting her third cube into the container, make sure she says "three" while doing so.
  • Direct each student to strike the drum when he has put in all 10 cubes.
(5 minutes)
  • Practice the game as a class for two more turns.
  • Encourage your students to continue counting the cubes individually as they place them in containers.
  • Count with your class if support is needed. Have the entire group count with that student.
(20 minutes)
  • Have your students continue to take turns in their groups.
  • Ask them to identify which group has more, less, or equal amounts of cubes in the container.
  • Encourage good sportsmanship during play.
  • Enrichment: Place 15-20 cubes in front of each student. Have students count either up to the number of cubes, or have them count by two's instead of using direct one-to-one correspondence.
  • Support: Count and model for students having difficulty. Decrease the pile to five one-inch cubes, and allow students to use their fingers to place the cubes into the container. This will let them focus on counting.
(5 minutes)
  • To assess student understanding, notice if your students are counting with one-to-one correspondence.
  • Note if your students are demonstrating understanding of more, less, and equal. Assess this by listening to the students' answers as they compare quantities.
  • Note if your students are using a firm grasp on the tongs. If their grip is very loose, encourage them to grip the tongs tighter so that the cubes do not fall out.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students, as a group, to count to 10 aloud.
  • Ask your students what number would come after 10.
  • Encourage them to count objects they see in their daily routine, such as toothbrushes or shoes.

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