Math Background

Lesson: Number Concepts
Introducing the Concept

Invite children to sit in a circle. Teach them the following rhyme.

Ants are all around us,
Ants are having fun.
One ant runs out, [Another ant runs out,]
Away goes one.

Materials: number cards 0-12; 12 cubes, writing paper, and pencil for each child

Preparation: Become familiar with the above rhyme. Continue to 12 during the activity, using these rhymes for the second and fourth lines of the rhyme.

Ants are by my shoe . . . Away go two;
Ants are by a tree . . . Away go three;
Ants are on the floor . . . Away go four;
Ants are by a hive . . . Away go five;
Ants are on some sticks . . . Away go six;
Ants are up in heaven . . . Away go seven;
Ants are at the gate . . . Away go eight;
Ants are in a line . . . Away go nine;
Ants are here again . . . Away go ten;
Ants are near Kevin . . . Away go eleven;
Ants are on a shelf . . . Away go twelve.

Prerequisite Skills and Concepts: Children should be able to count to 12.

Give 12 cubes to each child. Place the number cards on the floor. Then repeat the first verse of the rhyme together.

  • Ask: How many ants run away?
  • Ask: What number card shows 1?
    Children should identify the number 1. Place it on the chalk ledge.
  • Say: Show me one cube.
    Observe as children take one cube and place it in front of them.
  • Say: Write that number in the air with me.
    Children should follow you as they say the number.
  • Demonstrate how to write the number on the chalkboard. Then provide time for children to write the number on their papers.
  • Then say the second verse of the rhyme and have children repeat it with you.
  • Ask: How many ants run away now? (2) What number shows 2?
    Children should identify the number 2. Then place it on the ledge after the number 1.
  • Say: Show me a group of two cubes.
    Observe as children take another cube and make a group of two.
  • Say: Write that number in the air with me.
  • Continue with the rhyme, having children add a cube during each verse, identify the total number, and write the number. Continue through the number 10.
  • After numbers 1-10 are on the ledge, point to each and have children count in order. Then ask children to close their eyes as you remove one of the cards.
  • Ask: What number is missing?
  • You may wish to have volunteers remove a card and ask others to say the missing number.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K