Four for You! Exploring the Number Four

11 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to identify the number four, identify groups with four objects and represent the number four.

Big Idea

Many kindergarteners come to school with rote counting skills, but they often do not understand that the numbers they can recite actually represent quantities. This lesson helps to make that connection.


10 minutes

You will need to print a copy of the classroom book, Four for You, that is included with this lesson.  I prefer to use a color printer and laminate the book for durability.  I then bind it with a plastic comb, but staples and rings would also work. 

I gather the students in our reading corner, around my “big chair”.  I hold up the book and read the title to the students.  I ask them some questions prior to reading the book.

I see an number on the book the boy is holding.  Does anyone know what number it is?  That's right, it's the number four. 

I point to the title of the book and say, the title of this book is “Four for You”.  I ask the children to think about what this book could be about.  I call on a few students to share their predictions, I then say, Remember, you can help me read the book. 

I begin reading the book.  4 pumpkins for you.  1-2-3-4. I want more!  After reading, the page, I invite the students to help me count the number of pumpkins.  I carefully touch each pumpkin while counting, modeling what I want the children to do when counting objects.

I continue reading the book, inviting the children to read chorally with me.  On the last page we discuss what happened to the little boy when he wanted more.

If time permits, I reread the book.  If not, we move over to the SMART Board to continue the instruction.  


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, the Number Four Notebook  file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  Click here to download. There is also a pdf of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMART Board.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the Smartboard.

I open the first slide (SMART Board Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques.  I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can find the number four, count four items, write the number four and make a group with four.

Language Objective
I can use the number four to tell a friend how many items are in a group.

I then advance to Slide Two.  I tell the students, This is the number four.

 Slide Three:  This is another way the number four can look  This is not the way we write the number 4.  I then take the marker and write the number four, "kindergarten style" nest to the typeset four so the students can compare the two numbers.

Slide Four: When I count, four is after the number three.  I then count to four pointing to the numbers on the SMART Board slide.  I repeat, having the students count with me.

Slide Five:  There are four sheep.  I can count them.  I touch each one.   I then demonstrate for the students how I can count .  I touch each item once and and I say , “One-two-three-four”.  This step helps students develop “one to one correspondence”. 

Slide Six:  I explain to the students, There are some groups of snakes.  I want to find the groups that have four.  If you are called up, I want you to show the class how we count by touching each snake.  We can check our answers.  Erase the circle to check.

I have the students touch and say one-two-thee-four when counting.  If students need help with this step I will gently take their hand and guide them through the process.  I call students up using my “picking cards”. After counting, the students will erase in the circle to show the number of objects in the circle.   See video.

After the students identify the slides with four, I ask them how many objects are in the other groups.  I have them come to the board and demonstrate counting the objects.  The remaining objects have two and three objects each to review those numbers

Slide Seven and Eight:  Now the students get the opportunity to practice making groups of four.  I say to them: Can you make a group that has four?  Count as you move the guitars, 1-2-3-4.

The students use their finger to drag one guitar at a time out of the circle and into the box (using the smooth part of your fingernail works well for students to move the objects.  If that is too difficult, students can use a tennis ball to drag the items on the SMART Board).  Make sure that students count aloud as they are moving the guitars.  Repeat with the next slide using the tiger.

Slide Nine: I use this slide to demonstrate how to make the number four.  I stress the importance of starting the number at the top where the green or “go” circle is.  I show how to make the number, saying to the students, start at the green dot.  Go straight down until you hit the middle line and then turn it right.  Make a straight line from top to bottom that touches it.

Slide Nine:  Now it's time to do Turn and Talk to build oral language skills.  Students get with their assigned Turn and Talk Partners.   I tell the students, Now, turn to a friend and tell them how many butterflies there are.  

After the students have had a chance to talk, I ask the students to raise a hand if they know how many butterflies there are.  When I get a correct answer, to expand their language skills I have them repeat the answer in a complete sentence.  I say, You are right.  There are four butterflies.  I want everyone to say, "There are four butterflies." 

To review the number three, I ask,  Now, how many mice are there? I repeat the above process, giving the students Turn and Talk time.  I call on a student and then have the entire class repeat, "There are three mice."

We then move from the SMART Board back to our tables. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, Four for You Student Book is needed.  The file can be duplicated and stapled on the side.  After duplicating, the stapled packet can be cut down the middle to make two student booklets.

After the students are seated, I distribute the student booklet.  I instruct the students to put their name on the front cover and set their pencil down.

The students and I read the cover together.  I then invite the students to touch the number four on the cover.    We then turn to the first page.  I say to the children, let’s read this page together, 4 pumpkins for you.  1-2-3-4.  I want more! (the students are quite enthusiastic on the I want more! part of the story).

I then tell them that we need to check and make sure the number of pumpkins is correct.   I say to them, Get your finger out.  Make sure you say one number for each touch.  Ready, touch…one-two-three-four!

I then invite the students to pick up their pencils and write the number  four, tracing over the lines provided. I remind them to start the number at the top.  When they are done, I have them put their pencil down and turn the page. The page with books does not have guidelines to encourage the students to write the number independently.  We then discuss again what happened to the boy on the last time when he said he wanted more books.  I have the students make a prediction about how many books they think the man had to encourage prediction and the development of number sense.

 When we are done, the students are instructed to put the booklet on their name tags on their table.  After independent practice they will get a chance to color in the book.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

A copy of the Pumpkin  and Vine Worksheet activity sheet is needed for each student.  To complete the activity, students will need small pumpkin stickers. Students could color pumpkins with a crayon if there are no stickers available.

I distribute a copy of the activity to each student.  I have them put their name at the top and set their pencils down. I then explain to the students, we will be putting pumpkins on vines.  How many pumpkins do you think we will be putting on each vine?  That's right, four.  Each vine gets exactly four pumpkins. I demonstrate putting the pumpkins on the vine, counting as I place each sticker on one of the vines. 

I then say, after we are done putting the  pumpkins on the vine, we need to practice writing our fours.  Trace over each of the fours and the write three more fours when you are done. 

As the students complete their work, they bring it up for me to assess.  I make sure to have them count the number of pumpkins for me so I can assess whether they are saying one number for each touch and touching each pumpkin only once. After I have assessed their work, they are given time to color in their student book.  I encourage them to take the book home and read it with their parents.

Included in this lesson is Number Four Dauber Review for students who need additional practice. Students can practice identifying, representing and writing the number 4 with this sheet.