Lesson plan

Festive Counting

The ability to recall information builds through repetition. Give students the chance to build their counting memory (and potentially learn a few new numbers) in this festive fall counting lesson.
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Students will be able to use one-to-one correspondence to count objects up to 20.

(5 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Read This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Book by Laura Krauss Melmed to the group.
  • As you read, point out and count each item individually as they are mentioned in the book.
(5 minutes)
  • After completing the book, ask students, “What number comes next after 10?”
(5 minutes)
  • After completing the book, ask students, “What number comes next after 10?”
  • Count as a group to 20. (A number line or number chart can be helpful to use as a counting aid.)
  • Remind students that counting is one way to know how many items there are of something, as every object represents a number. When students count they should assign a number (in numerical order) to each object.
  • Ask students to do their best turkey impressions.
  • Then, divide the class into two unequal groups of “turkeys.” Have each group determine the number of “turkeys” in their group by counting each student.
  • Next, have groups count the number of "turkeys" in the other group.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring the class together, and pass out a copy of the Count, Trace, and Color: Eleven worksheet to each student.
  • Complete this worksheet as a class, making sure to focus on individually pointing to and counting each turkey by assigning a number (in order) to each one.
  • Pass out a copy of the Count, Trace, and Color: Twelve worksheet to each student.
  • This time, divide the class into partners or small groups and have them complete it together. Any adults should make sure that students are pointing at and counting each picture as they color in the worksheet.
  • Explain to students that they will each now choose one of the remaining worksheets (numbers 13-20) to try completing on their own.
  • Before sending students away to work on their worksheets, review any rules for independent work (such as seating, requests, not speaking above a whisper, etc.)
(10 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering student questions, and checking for understanding.
  • Early finishers should be encouraged to create their own fall/Thanksgiving counting books using all the number worksheets or to create their own original worksheet for their number selections.

Support: Students may work with a partner using number lines and charts available to help with determining how many objects they have.

Enrichment: Encourage students to create their own Thanksgiving-themed number counting worksheet with an object associated with fall or Thanksgiving. They can draw it 21 or more times and then learn how to write that number!

(5 minutes)
  • Discuss with each student: As we touch each item, what do we say? What number comes next? (i.e. one after another in order until all objects are counted.)
  • Observe that each student contributes to the group conversation appropriately. Record anecdotal notes about student enthusiasm and insights.
(5 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Have students post their worksheets in numerical order. (This can make a fun fall and Thanksgiving themed timeline.)
  • Have students identify all of the fall and Thanksgiving themed items on their worksheets.
  • Discuss: Which number was the most popular? Which number was the least popular?
  • Conclude by counting items together as a group to 20.

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