Lesson plan

Ladybug Addition

In this lesson, students will have fun creating addition sentences by drawing and counting ladybug dots.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the How Many Did I See? pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards

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Need extra help for EL students? Try the How Many Did I See? pre-lesson.

Students will be able to add small numbers using visual aids.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students they will be listening to a story about a grouchy ladybug.
  • Show students the cover of The Grouchy Ladybug and read aloud the title, author, and illustrator.
  • Ask students to predict what they think the story will be about.
  • Ask students to share what they think the roles of the author and the illustrator are.
  • Read the story.
(5 minutes)
  • Project one of the prepared red circles and say, "This is a ladybug. It needs dots!"
  • Draw dots on each wing (less than five dots per wing).
  • Have students count the dots on one wing and write that number (an addend) below the wing.
  • Repeat this for the second wing.
  • Have the class count all the dots on both wings and put that number (the sum) on the line at the bottom of the ladybug.
  • Read the equation, emphasizing the words "plus" and "equals".
  • Explain that you just created an addition sentence.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student a their own "ladybug" and a marker.
  • Tell students to draw five dots on one wing of their ladybug.
  • Have them write the number 5 on the wing.
  • Tell students to draw three dots on the other wing and write the number 3 on the second wing.
  • Have them count up the total dots and put that number on the bottom.
(5 minutes)
  • Provide each student with a second ladybug.
  • Have each student come up with their own addition sentence (but make sure you tell them to draw five dots or less on each wing).


  • Have students work with a partner to come up with addition sentences. Draw dots on the students' wings and have them write the addition sentence to go with the dots.


  • Have advanced students create addition sentences using addends greater than five.
(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room during Independent Working Time and make sure students are following directions.
  • Have students each create an addition sentence in their math journals on their own.
  • Observe them as they work and assess their understanding of the lesson content.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share their ladybugs with the class and read the addition sentences they created.

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