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This counting lesson idea utilizes tally marks




5, 4, 3, 2, 1  


Title – Tally Marks
By – Lynne
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – 1-5 

Note from We are proud that we receive lesson plans from teachers all across the globe. The following lesson comes from Australia. For an American classroom, just substitute “baseball” for “cricket” and “color” for “colour” and its all the same!

Aim: To explain tally marks

Materials: A bundle of coloured matchsticks or toothpicks for each child.

I tell a story about a team playing cricket and talk about how many runs each child made. As I tell the story, I write tally marks on the board and the children make the tally marks with the matchsticks on their desk. At first, I only add 1,2 or 3 runs at a time. Otherwise it’s too hard to keep track and some children get totally lost.

You could demonstrate it first and use single colour matches for each child: “Green made 2 runs, red made 3, then yellow made 1.” It might be clearer.

Then, of course, we talk about shortcuts in counting and count in 5’s to get the answer.

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