October 11, 2015
by Dwayne Slobodnick

Lesson plan

Counting to 20: Get 'Em in Order!

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the What Number Comes First? pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the What Number Comes First? pre-lesson.

Students will be able to count, order, and say what number comes before and after a number from 0-20.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(20 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that they will be working with ordering numbers from 0-20 today.
  • Play the "Count to 20!" video.
  • Write the word “order” on the board, and explain that order is the arrangement of things in a particular pattern or sequence. You could order some students by their height as an example.
  • Ask the students to come together and show them the 0-20 Number Line Template. Tell them that they will soon make their own.
  • Show students how to cut out and glue the number line together.
  • Display the numbers 1-20 in order and have the whole class count to 20 with you.
  • Ask the students go back to their desks.
  • Hand out the Number Line Template, and tell them to begin cutting and gluing.
  • Go around and assist any struggling students with this task.
  • When the students are finished, bring them back together to explain the next activity.
(5 minutes)
  • Show students a bag of number cards and demonstrate pulling one out.
  • Look at the number and say it.
  • Hold up the number to the number line you previously made, and locate where it goes on the number line.
  • Use adhesive putty to stick it to the board.
  • Pull out another number and repeat the process.
(5 minutes)
  • Continue this activity, and ask students to come up, pick a number, and show you where it goes in order compared to the other numbers already chosen.
  • Ask students to explain their thinking when ordering the numbers.
  • Tell the students that they will all get to order numbers at their desks.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask the students to go back to their desks, and hand out the bags of Number Cards to them.
  • Tell the students to pull out the numbers and put them in order.
  • Remind them that they can use the number lines they made to help them if needed.
  • Walk around and observe how the students order their numbers.
  • When finished, ask the students to put their numbers back in their bags.


  • To challenge students, put students in pairs. Tell the students to put their numbers in order from 1-20. Have one of the students look away while the other flips a card or two over. The other student looks at the numbers and says what card if flipped. Then switch and repeat.


  • Students can work with numbers to 10 before going on to 20.
(5 minutes)
  • Observe how the students ordered the numbers 1-20.
  • Observe how they worked when comparing their numbers.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring the students back together.
  • Select 20 students and give them numbers between 1-20.
  • Ask the group to get in order from 1-20.
  • Play the "Count to 20!" video again, and have the students sing and move.

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