Subject: Mathematics

#3982. Over on the Farm: An Integrated Counting Lesson

Mathematics, level: Kindergarten
Posted Sat May 5 14:44:18 PDT 2007 by Sarah King (
University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA
Materials Required: Over on the Farm by Christopher Gunson, Poster board, dot stickers, markers, crayons, pencils
Activity Time: 1 hr.
Concepts Taught: Counting, Rhyming, Connecting Objects with Numbers

Over on the Farm: An Integrated Math and Literacy Lesson

Grade Level: Kindergarten

• count to twenty
• represent objects physically, symbolically, and verbally
• understand the connection between written numbers and the objects they represent

• count objects and pictures verbally up to twenty
• represent groups of animals symbolically, verbally, and in picture form via a poster

• Book: Over on the Farm
• Sheets of poster board, size 12x18, broken into a grid of 10 squares (use a Sharpie to draw the lines for the grid.)
• Dot stickers, markers, crayons
• Pencils

Anticipatory Set:

1. Begin by asking students to think of animals they might see on a farm. Use a graphic organizer on a piece of chart paper to help students brainstorm and collect their ideas. (This graphic organizer will later be tied into the counting lesson.)



2. Next, explain to students that you will be reading a book about farm animals today. Tell them to look for the pattern in the book. (As you read, see if the students can predict the number of animals that will be on the next page.)


1. Begin to read the story Over on the Farm. Ask: "Did anyone hear any rhyming words on this first page?" (sun, one.) Ask: "Who can give me another word that rhymes with sun and one?" (This should be a quick conversation with your students. Rhyming words should not be the focus of the lesson.)

2. Continue to read the story. Stop after page three and ask: "Does anyone think they know the math pattern in this book?" Give students a few minutes to think. Take a few different answers from students.

3. Most students should recognize that the book is a counting book by page 4. At this point, have them predict how many animals will be on the next page. ("Show me on your fingers how many animals you think will be on the next page.")

4. Continue reading the book, stopping at each page to count the animals. Have students count aloud with you.

5. At the completion of the book, ask students if there were any animals in the book that they didn't think during their brainstorm. Fill in the graphic organizer accordingly.

6. Tell the students that they are going to use their brainstorming web to help them make a counting poster.

Check for Understanding/Modeling:

1. Before beginning the poster project, make sure students understand the concept of representing a number through a drawing. Say: "Before we start our poster, I'd like us to practice drawing, writing, and saying numbers. I'm going to draw six dogs on the board." Draw six simple dogs on the white board, then say: "Hmm...I think that's six dogs, but I better check." Count the dogs out loud. Then, write the number six next to your drawing.

2. Have three volunteers come up to the white board and practice what you just modeled. Give them an animal and a number to represent in their drawing. Then, have all students count along with the volunteer after they've completed their drawing. Also, have all students air-write the number in symbol form.

Guided Practice:

1. Have students return to their seats. Explain the poster that you will be making: "We are going to make a poster using the farm animals from the book we just read. Each of you is going to get a poster with ten squares on it. In each square, I'd like you to draw a group of animals from the book. If you need help remembering which animals were in the book, you can look at our brainstorming web. You may use markers, crayons, and dot stickers to make your animals. Also, you don't need to use the same numbers from the book, but you do need to use a different number of animals in each box. Let me show you an example."

2. Have students put a piece of poster board in front of them. (These should be in a pile on their tables.) Show students how to complete one of the boxes. (Have them complete this along with you.) Take a piece of the poster board you've prepared and tape it to the board. Tell students, "I think the first animal I'll draw will be the owl. I'm going to draw 11 owls. Use the dot stickers, markers, or crayons to draw eleven owls along with me." Quickly draw eleven owls on the poster. Circulate around the room and watch as students complete their drawings. Then, say, "Now, I'm going to check and make sure I drew eleven owls." (Have students count out loud along with you, while looking at their owls.) "Yep! That's eleven owls on my poster! If you didn't have eleven owls on you poster, you can fix it now." Allow about a minute for students to check/correct their posters. "Now I'm going to write the number eleven next to my owls. Do it along with me." (Write "11.") "Now that I've used the number eleven in this box, I need to think of a new number to use for the next box. What number could I use next?" (Take ideas from students.)

3. Tell students that, for this poster, they need to use the numbers 12, 13, 15, and 20. The rest of the numbers they can come up with themselves.

4. After showing an example to students, have them gather their supplies from the Tools Table. Send one student from each table to get the poster boards. (Stand at the table as they do this -- they will need a little bit of assistance.)

5. Give students the guidelines one last time. (Write them on the board.)

a. Use a different number of animals in each box.
b. Use numbers 12, 13, 15, and 20
c. Come up with the rest of the numbers yourself.

Independent Practice:

1. Allow students to work quietly on their posters while you circulate and observe what they are doing. Take notes on each student, watching for any students who seem to be struggling with this activity.

2. Hints:
a. "How can you check to see if you've drawn the correct number of animals?" (
b. "How could you help yourself remember what animals you've already counted?" (Mark it with a pencil, etc.)
c. "Count along with me...."

3. If students finish their posters early, give them the challenge activity:
a. Think of a number even bigger than 20.
b. Think of an animal you haven't drawn yet. (It doesn't have to be from the book.)
c. Draw the number and animal you've chosen on the backside of your poster. Share your poster with a partner when you're finished. Count all the animals out loud as you're sharing.


1. Possible discussion questions:
a. "What was the hardest part of this project?"
b. "Did anyone have a hard time keeping track of what you counted? What did you do to help yourself count the numbers of animals correctly?"
c. "What did the numbers that we wrote next to our pictures mean?"
d. "Why is it important to know how to count?"
e. "What kinds of things do we use counting for?" (You might have to give a few examples first before students will be able to contribute.)
2. Sharing:
a. "Would anyone like to present one of their squares from the poster to the rest of the class?" (Allow for about ten minutes of sharing.)

3. "Today, we practiced counting, and we practiced drawing pictures of numbers. Groups of objects, like the farm animals, can always be represented by a number."


Students will be assessed using:
1. Their posters (Do their written numbers and pictures correspond with each other?)
2. My informal notes from observations made during the activity.


Students with special needs can complete a one page poster that demonstrates their knowledge of numbers 1 -10. Prepare a poster board similar to the one being used for the normal project, but label each box with a number 1 -- 10. Have the student(s) draw a picture that shows the number in the box. Tell them they can draw anything they'd like, as long as the picture matches the number in the box.