EL Support Lesson

How High Can You Count?

In this musical lesson plan, students will learn how to use counting aides when extending the number sequence to 100! Can be used as a stand-alone or support lesson plan for the **Musical Numbers** lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Musical Numbers to 100 lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Musical Numbers to 100 lesson plan.

Students will be able to count numbers beyond 20.


Students will be able to explain strategies for extending the number sequence using counting aides.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together and ask, "What is the biggest number that you know?"
  • Play the One to 100 Number Song from 1-20.
  • Pause the song and teach students accompanying movements (e.g., marching in place in time to song, clapping, moving arms around head, etc.) and mix up movements if you choose to differentiate between 10s, 20s, 30s, etc.
  • Play the rest of the song and encourage students to sing along while doing the movements.
  • Tell the class that today they will be counting to 100!
(5 minutes)
  • Say, "How could I keep track of numbers when I count to 100?"
  • Display several counting aides (100s chart, number line, abacus, etc.) and explain that these are all called counting aides and that an aide is something to help you do something.
  • Model using the hundreds chart to count to 100 (count to 20 or 30), showing how to point to each number as you count.
  • Review what order means and how to make sure you are counting in order.
  • Using the hundreds chart, point out the lines and note the pattern or repeating numbers on each line. Tell students that if they can learn the order of numbers 1-20, they will be able to use the hundreds chart to count all the way to 100!
(10 minutes)
  • Practice counting to 100 cooperatively as a group by pointing to the numbers on the hundreds chart one at a time and having the class either chorally say the number name or echo-count after you. Tell students to clap for each number.
  • Put students in groups (create groups so that you have exactly 10 groups) and then ask each group to quickly search the classroom to find 10 objects.
  • Gather students back together and model how to count the 10 groups of 10 to get to 100. Briefly introduce counting by 10s if students are ready.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to practice counting to 50, which is halfway to 100, on their own.
  • Display the worksheet and go over directions.
  • Pass out worksheets and ask students to choose a counting aid to use.
  • When finished, pair students together to explain to their partner how they used their counting aid to count to 50.


  • Allow students to count in their home language (L1).
  • Pair students with a partner to complete the worksheet and use the same strategies.


  • Ask students to explain how to use a counting aid to get to a given number, e.g., "How could you count to 72 using the hundreds chart?"
(5 minutes)
  • Listen to students as they compare strategies to assess their comfort and ability to extend the number sequence using a counting aid.
  • Collect student work samples to assess if students were able to accurately use a counting aid to count to 50.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and play the One to 100 Number Song again, with students repeating the hand/body movements that they learned during the introduction.
  • Pass out mini whiteboards and say a number greater than 20 aloud. Ask students to find the number on their worksheet and then write it on their whiteboard.

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