Ten, Nine, Eight

In this lesson, children will orally count backwards from 10 to 1.

Math Lesson for:

Toddlers/Preschoolers
(See Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.)

Content Area:

Algebra

Learning Goals:

This lesson will help toddlers and preschoolers meet the following educational standards:

  • Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers and number systems
  • Understand patterns, relations and functions
  • Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols

Learning Targets:

After this lesson, toddlers and preschoolers should be more proficient at:

  • Counting with understanding and recognizing “how many” in sets of objects
  • Sorting, classifying and ordering objects by size, number and other properties

Ten, Nine, Eight

Lesson plan for toddlers/preschoolers

Step 1: Gather materials.

  • The book, Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
  • Two sets of 10 cards each (The first set will feature the numerals 1-10. The second set will feature the same numbers written as words.)

Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

Step 2: Introduce activity.

  1. Review counting 1-10. Count out loud with the children.
  2. Explain to the children that they are going to count backwards from 10 to 1 and they are going to match up the written numbers on their cards with the numbers in the book.

Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.

  1. Pass out the numeral cards. Keep the cards with the number words.
  2. Read the story, Ten, Nine, Eight. As you read, hold up the number word cards that match the numbers in the story. Ask: “What is this number word?” The children should hold up their matching number cards with the correct numbers.
  3. When you are done reading the book, have the children count backwards from 10 as a group.

Additional Extensions

  • Using the numeral cards, have the children place them in descending order from 10 to 1.
  • Have the children create a counting book starting at 10 and ending with the number one. They can write out the number word, write the numeral and draw a numerical representation of the number.

Step 4: Teach math vocabulary.

  • Count: To identify the amount of something by number (e.g.,”How many blocks do you have?” Point to each object while saying 1-2-3.)
  • Number: Describe quantities or values (e.g, “What is this number word?”)

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.

Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
Toddlers may:
  • Still be working on one-to-one correspondence and counting, in order, from 1 to 10
Home child care providers may:
  • Continue to work on the children’s counting skills while reinforcing oral counting skills from 1-10
  • Have the children match numbers with numbers (Ask: “Who has the number 4?” and the children, using their numeral cards, will match the corresponding number.)
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
Preschoolers may:
  • Already count from 1-10 forwards and backwards and have an understanding of one-to-one correspondence
Home child care providers may:
  • Using the number cards, have the children place them in descending order from 10 to 1.
  • Have the children create a counting book starting at 10 and ending with the number one. They can write out the number word, write the number and draw a numerical representation of the number.

Suggested Books

  • Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang (New York: Greenwillow Books, 1996)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

  • When the children line up, have them line up in descending order. Give each child a number and then have the children line up in descending order.
  • Using any objects found outside, have the children work with predetermined sets of objects such as 10 leaves of different colors, 10 pieces of playground equipment or 10 clothing items needed when the weather gets colder.

Web Resources

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