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This number “3” lesson features the triangular recycling symbol




PreK, K  

Title – Lesson Plan: Number “3” and “Recycling”
By – Gisela Hausmann
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – Pre-K – K

Time: 30 minutes

Materials: CD-book “Hands on Mathematics, Numbers from 1-10” (optional), color recyclable symbol, one copy of “Worksheet Number 3” per child, crayons in a variety of colors, a variety of recyclable items which carry the recyclable symbol (steel cans, fruit juice cans, cardboard boxes with symbol)

Objective: To reinforce the memorization of “number 3” via auditory, visual, and kinesthetic methods.


1)  Show a recyclable symbol printed in color (below) to the children and ask if anybody knows what that green symbol means. Most likely at least one child will know that this is the “recyclable” symbol.

2)  Explain to the children what it means: (3 step procedure)

      a) old item is collected


      b) the collected old items are turned into a new munched together substance


    c) a new product is being made.

That is why the symbol has 3 arrows that lead back to the original point, and of course 3 corners as well.

3)  Hand out your recyclable items and have the children look for the symbol. Ask whose family recycles old items.

4)  Do worksheet 3.

5) Tell the children that once they are finished you are going to collect the sheets to put 3 stickers on it for great work.

Show recyclable symbol again and explain that every color but white and black (which are no real colors) can be mixed out of the 3 primary colors depicted. Do an art activity recommended by the art teacher. Try to integrate triangular shapes to reinforce “3 sides and 3 corners” again.


Worksheet 3

Visual/Kinesthetic Exercises

On the left are 10 circles, please color 3 circles in the color of your choice. The 3 circles need to be next to each other. If you have done this exercise before, please make sure that you color different circles than last time.



Please draw a picture that represents the number “3”.

You could copy the “recycle”-sign from above or draw a triangle, a traffic light, triangles in the three primary colors, a “yield”-sign or even a triceratops. Have your parent write the name of the item underneath.

Can you tell me the “important fact” about the number “3”?

Name one item that comes as “3.” Then I, the parent or person that is playing this game with you, will name one item that comes as “3” only. Then, it is again your turn. Let’s see if we can name five pairs or opponents each. If we run out of ideas, we can look around the room and see if there are three items of something (e.g. three flowers in a vase, 3 books on a table, 3 pillows on a bed, …)

[Parents/teachers: you could “prepare: the room, arrange items in groups of “3” and play until your child finds all of them.]

Copyright © August 2004 by Gisela Hausmann, permission for publication under Gisela Hausmann is granted.

More material like this in “Hands on Mathematics, Numbers from 1-10” by Gisela Hausmann

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