EL Support Lesson

Counting On

In this fun lesson, your class will love learning how to count on using hilarious read alouds as their guide!
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Rolling Math lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Rolling Math lesson plan.

Students will count forward from 0-10.


Students will be able to explain strategies for counting forward from a given number using an anchor chart and peer support.

(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class together and display a number line or chart showing the numbers from 1–10.
  • Ask the students to count the numbers with you as you point to them.
  • Explain that today you will practice counting on, or counting forward from a number other than 1.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the read aloud book, Ten Flashing Fireflies and go on a brief picture walk to preview the book with the class.
  • Introduce the ten frame by displaying it to the class on your board or using a document camera. Explain that a ten frame is a tool to help us keep track as we count.
  • Read the book, pausing to think aloud to model how to keep track of counting when you aren't starting at the number one, e.g., "I already counted 6 fireflies on this page, on the next page one more joins them, what number comes after 6?"
  • Utilize the ten frame throughout the book by adding in a counter for each of the fireflies, again modeling how to count forward from a given number without starting at one. Explain that forward means to continue in one direction, rather than going back to one at each page.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that now you will pass out a ten frame and ten counters to each student and read part (or all depending on time) of the story again. This time the class will get to practice using their ten frame to keep track of the fireflies in the book.
  • Encourage students to count the next number (e.g., 9, 10) on each page aloud before placing their counter on their frame.
  • Ask students to think about strategies or ways they could keep track of their counting without starting from one each time.
  • Create a class anchor chart to capture student thinking using visuals for pre-readers. Include (and introduce if students don't offer) strategies such as: using a number line, using a ten frame, counting on fingers, etc.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to play a game with a partner to practice counting forward from a number other than one.
  • Model how students will work with a partner to practice counting using their ten frames:

Steps to play

  1. Each partner has a ten frame and a stack of counters in front of them. Place the stack of number cards face down between the partners.
  2. Have Partner A choose a card from the stack, then count out the same number of counters on their ten frame (using one color, e.g., red).
  3. Partner B then adds the remainder to fill the ten frame to keep counting on using a different color counter (e.g., partner A choose's the card 5, counts out 5 counters, then Partner A says, "5--6--7--8--9--10").
  4. Switch roles and repeat above steps.
  • Pass out materials (number cards 1–10) and counters to each pair.


  • Gather a small group of students. Have all students all represent the same number on their ten frames using a similar activity as in the introduction.
  • Review numbers 1–10 in both English and students' home langauge (L1).
  • Practice 1x1 correspondence using counters and ten frames.


  • Review numbers 11–20 and then have students practice counting forward using a similar activity with cards of 11–20.
(3 minutes)
  • Circulate around the room as students are working in pairs and take note of student discussions and strategies used to count forward.
  • Ask guiding questions as students work to assess understanding such as: What number card did you choose? What number comes next? How do you know?
(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together to review and close the lesson by reading aloud The Napping House. Note the number of people/animals on each page and ask students to either count forward or echo count with you to reinforce the concept of counting forward.

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