Lesson Plan

Mystery Numbers

This mysterious math lesson introduces young learners to teen numbers and math vocabulary.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Race Car Counting pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Race Car Counting pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to order numbers from zero to 20, and describe the relationship between numbers using content-specific vocabulary.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
  • Randomly pass out a card with a different number starting with zero to each student in the class.
  • Tell students that when you say, "Go!" students should line up in numerical order.
  • Have students look at the number on their card. Tell students to think about what numbers come before or after their number. Ask them to think about which other numbers they will be between.
  • Say, "Go!" and allow students time to line up in order.
  • Once everyone has lined up in order, have each student call out and hold up their number, beginning at zero.
  • Frontload vocabulary by asking students to notice which students are before and after them in the line. Ask students which other students they are standing betweeen. Point out that no one is before zero.
  • Collect the number cards and have students return to their spots on the rug.


  • Review numbers 0–20 by counting aloud and having the students echo count after you.


  • Chorally count from 0–20 using a number line as a reference.