Lesson plan

Bug Addition to Ten

Get your students excited about basic math with this quirky addition lesson. It contains a bug-themed selection of games and worksheets.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Cube Trains pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Cube Trains pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use objects to add numbers up to ten.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Sit with your students in a circle.
  • Put ten plastic bugs in a pile in front of you.
  • Ask your students to guess how many bugs there are.
  • Ask your students to think of a way to make the bugs easy to count.
  • Arrange the bugs in an orderly line.
  • Count the bugs out loud with your students.
  • Tell your students that they will be using bugs to solve addition problems.
(15 minutes)
  • Quickly pass out 10 plastic bugs to each student.
  • Tell your students to each put five bugs in a line in front of them.
  • Ask your students how many bugs they would have to add to make six.
  • Tell your students to add one bug to the line.
  • Write 5 + 1 = 6 on the board.
  • Now, tell your students to put three bugs in a line.
  • Ask your students how many bugs they would have to add to make five.
  • Tell your students to add two bugs to the line.
  • Write 3 + 2 = 5 on the board.
  • Continue this process with the following: (4 + 3 = 7), (6 + 2 = 8), (3 + 7 = 10), and (9 + 1 = 10).
  • Display the Count Bugs on the Rug online game on the interactive whiteboard (see related media).
  • Allow every student to have a turn putting bugs on the rug.
(15 minutes)
  • Keep your students in the circle.
  • Ask two students to help you demonstrate how to play the Bug Safari game.
  • Tell your students that when you go on a safari, you explore and collect things.
  • Show the game's Number-Color chart.
  • Explain that each number stands for a bug in the same color on the chart.
  • Read the directions to your students and then play three or four turns with your student volunteers.
  • Ask your students to raise their hands with questions about the game.
  • Put your students into groups of three or four.
  • Hand out game supplies for each group.
  • Tell them to find a place in the room where they can play.
(10 minutes)
  • Call your students back to the circle.
  • Show them the Bug Addition worksheets.
  • Explain how to complete the worksheets.
  • Hand out the first worksheet and dismiss your students to work at their desks.
  • Tell your students to raise their hands when they are ready for the second sheet.
  • Observe and support your students as they work.
  • Bring the second sheet to them as they finish the first.
  • Make sure you check the first sheet for accuracy before allowing them to proceed to the second sheet.


  • Allow struggling students to use number lines or manipulatives to help them solve the math problems.


  • Above level students should use 15 counters to compose and write sums over 10.
(5 minutes)
  • During Guided Practice, look for students who are taking turns, following directions, and remaining on-task.
  • During Independent Working Time, look for students who are following directions and focusing on their own work.
  • Your students should be able to trace the numbers on the lines and use the bug illustrations to answer the math problems.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to name some ways to make eight, nine, and ten.
  • Write their examples on the board.
  • Ask your students to name other objects they could use to solve addition problems.

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