August 28, 2015
By AnneMarie Mann

Lesson plan

Nature and Counting: It All Adds Up

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Nature CountingPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Nature CountingPre-lesson.

Students will be able to represent addition facts up to 10.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Tell your students that they will be adding natural objects that they get to collect.
  • Read a story that relates to natural objects and enumeration such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell your students that they will be going on a walk outside to collect objects for their addition projects.
  • Have students count their objects as they collect them. Use addition vocabulary as they add to their collection. Say, "You had three acorns, and adding one more makes four. Now you have a total of four acorns."
  • Instruct your students to find approximately 10 objects.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out plain paper or maths work mats along with small manipulatives, or have your students use their objects from their nature collection.
  • Model making addition sentences with objects. Show students how to write the corresponding numeral under each grouping of objects and write the addition sentence.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students take out their nature collection bag.
  • Provide sentence strips, pencils, and glue.
  • Encourage students to sort their groupings into a number sentence, and have them glue the objects on and write the total on the right side of the sentence strip.


  • Show your students how to use their fingers to add, or provide an anchor chart with visual cues for addition.


  • Encourage your students to use more than two groupings for their number sentences. Have some of them write the addition sentence out symbolically with the objects labeled. For example, 4 acorns + 5 flowers = 9.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students practise writing addition sentences on the addition work mat.
  • Instruct your students to use small counters to practise.
  • Encourage students to note the relationship between the quantity and the numeral.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the sentence strips in the room for your students to see.

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