EL Support Lesson

Making a Number Line

In this fun counting lesson, students will get a chance to practice working in cooperative groups to order numbers 0-10. Use this lesson plan on its own or as support for the lesson Using Counting Aids.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Using Counting Aids lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Using Counting Aids lesson plan.

Students will be able to use a number line to count to ten.


Students will be able to explain how to use a number line when counting.

(3 minutes)
  • Gather the class together and project the "Number Monster 0-10" song.
  • Say, "Today we are going to practice counting from 0–10 using a new tool: a number line!"
(5 minutes)
  • Show the class examples of a line by drawing one on the board.
  • Ask the students to make a line in the air with their fingers.
  • Count to ten as you write the numbers 0–10 on the board.
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the concept of a line. Draw a line on the board and explain, "This is a line. We use lines for many things. Today we will be making a number line."
  • Model making a number line using the number cards and the line you drew on the board.
  • Pull out the cards in order from 0–10 and ask the students to point to which side of the line to place each number (e.g., left or right).
  • As a class, use the number line to count to ten (by either echo counting or chorally as a group).
  • Explain that today, students will get to create their own number line using the numbers 0–10. Say, "Sometimes when we are trying to put numbers together or find out how many there are of something, we need help keeping track of numbers as we count. We can use a number line!"
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to work in groups to make their own number line. Tell students that the numbers should go in order from 0–10 and that you will be passing out one number card at a time, out of order.
  • Put students into groups of 3 and send each group to one of the tape lines.
  • Pass out one number card at a time to each group (in this order: 1, 5, 7, 2, 6, 10, 8, 9) pausing between number cards to allow the students time to decide as a group where to place the card on their number line.
  • Circulate around the room as students work to take anecdotal notes of their ideas, process, and conversations.


  • Have students practice counting in their home language (L1).
  • Work with students in a small teacher-led group to create their joint number line.
  • Provide guided questions to support conversation, e.g., "Where should I place the 1? Why? How do we know? Can you find the 1 on the number line on the board?"


  • Ask students to share out with the class how their group chose where to place each number.
  • Invite students to share with a partner how to use their number line to count.
(5 minutes)
  • Collect the anecdotal notes to create a process board to capture student thinking throughout the lesson. Note any areas of confusion to address as a whole group (e.g., placing numbers with 1 at the far right).
(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and go on a gallery walk of the number lines created by each group. Share out some of the anecdotal notes you gathered during the work portion of the lesson.
  • Ask, "What is a number line?" to the students as a closing reflection question.

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