Lesson plan

Ladybug Addition

In this lesson, students will have fun creating addition sentences by drawing and counting ladybug dots.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theHow Many Did I See?Pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theHow Many Did I See?Pre-lesson.

Students will be able to add small numbers using visual aids.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students they will be listening to a story about a grouchy ladybug.
  • Show students the cover of The Grouchy LadybugAnd read aloud the title, author, and illustrator.
  • Ask students to predict what they think the story will be about.
  • Ask students to share what they think the roles of the author and the illustrator are.
  • Read the story.
(5 minutes)
  • Project one of the prepared red circles and say, "This is a ladybug. It needs dots!"
  • Draw dots on each wing (less than five dots per wing).
  • Have students count the dots on one wing and write that number (an addend) below the wing.
  • Repeat this for the second wing.
  • Have the class count all the dots on both wings and put that number (the sum) on the line at the bottom of the ladybug.
  • Read the equation, emphasizing the words "plus" and "equals".
  • Explain that you just created an addition sentence.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student a their own "ladybug" and a marker.
  • Tell students to draw five dots on one wing of their ladybug.
  • Have them write the number 5 on the wing.
  • Tell students to draw three dots on the other wing and write the number 3 on the second wing.
  • Have them count up the total dots and put that number on the bottom.
(5 minutes)
  • Provide each student with a second ladybug.
  • Have each student come up with their own addition sentence (but make sure you tell them to draw five dots or less on each wing).


  • Have students work with a partner to come up with addition sentences. Draw dots on the students' wings and have them write the addition sentence to go with the dots.


  • Have advanced students create addition sentences using addends greater than five.
(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room during Independent Working Time and make sure students are following directions.
  • Have students each create an addition sentence in their maths journals on their own.
  • Observe them as they work and assess their understanding of the lesson content.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share their ladybugs with the class and read the addition sentences they created.

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