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Here is a lesson plan on number sense





   Sarah Zubrowski
Number Sense -- Grade One

Prerequisite Knowledge:

–the ability to count to at least 12.

–the story of If You Take a Pencil by Fulvio Testa (New York, Dial Press, 1982).


–the first grade students will draw pictures to represent the numbers one through six.

       --If You Take a Pencil
       --pencils (colored and regular)
       --markers and crayons
       --white drawing paper
       --construction paper

Set and Initiation:

Announce that it is circle time and once the children are seated on the carpet, draw on the board a picture of two trees, five clouds, and eight little boys and girls. Ask the students what they see and how many of each. Ask the students to name off a few of their favorite things and how many of each there are. Hold up the book If You Take a Pencil and ask them to guess what it is about. Begin reading.


Ask the children what part of the book they enjoyed the most and ask them to recall the number associated with that “favorite” part. Ask questions such as, “What number did the book start off with?” and, “What number did the book end with?”

Explain that next they will make their own “book” similar to the one just read. The book is to start with the number one and go to the number six. The students are to draw a picture representing each number. For example, one turtle. On the other side of the paper, they will draw something representing the number two and so on. Ask the children for book title suggestions and for volunteers to pass out the needed materials.

When finished with the inside of the book, the students will make a cover out of construction paper. Included on the cover is the child’s name, title of their book, and a picture.

As everyone is done, staple the pages together and select a few students to share their book with the class. If time allows, hang each book up on the bulletin board with the student’s help.


Ask students how they felt during this activity. Why was it fun? Why was it boring? Why was it hard? Ask a student or two to draw his or her favorite number and picture on the chalk board and have the class count out loud with the student. Give a math related sticker to each child to wear for the rest of the day.


During the activity, watch for participation, the correct use of numbers, drawings that coincide with the number, and the student’s general knowledge of the representation of the numbers one through six. The finished product will also be evaluated.

NCTM Curriculum Standards for Grades K-4 Addressed in This Lesson:

–Standard 6: Number Sense and Numeration

–construct number meanings through real world experiences and the use of physical materials;

–understand the numeration system by relating counting, grouping, and place value concepts;

–develop number sense; and

–interpret the multiple uses of numbers encountered in the real world.

   Written by Sarah Zubrowski
Saint Joseph College
1678 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117
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