Six Spots! Exploring the Number Six

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

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, Six Spots, 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 ask the students some questions prior to reading.   What type of bug do you see on the cover of our story?  That's right, it's a ladybug.  How do you know it is a ladybug?  That's is red and black and has spots.  How many spots does it have?  Let's count and find out.  I point to each spot as the children help me count...1-2-3-4-5-6.  That's right there are six spots and that's the name of our book...Six Spots.  Let's read and find out.

I read the first page for them and invite them to join me as I count:  My ladybug has six spots. 1-2-3-4-5-6.  I very intentionally point to each spot to model the way I want them to count.   We continue on with the next page in the same fashion, making sure to point and have the students join me in counting the spots. 

We continue on until we get to the last page of the story.  Not all students will know what chicken pox are.  With the help of students who know, I explain what it is. 

After we are done reading the story, we move over to the SMART Board to learn more about the number 6. 


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, the Number Six 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.  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 SMART Board.

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 six, count six items, write the number six and make a group with six.

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

I then continue with the slides.

Slide Two:  This is the number 6.

Slide Three: When I count, six is after the number five.  I then count to six pointing to the numbers on the Smartboard slide.  I repeat, having the students count with me.

Slide Four:  There are six ladybugs.  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-five-six”.  This step helps students develop “one to one correspondence”. 

Slide Five:  I explain to the students, There are some groups of horses.  I want to find the groups that have six.  If you are called up, I want you to show the class how we count by touching each horse.  We can check our answers by erasing.

I have the students touch and say one-two-thee-four-five-six 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. 

After the students identify the slides with six, 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 four and five objects each to review those numbers

Slide Six and Seven:  Now the students get the opportunity to practice making groups of five.  I say to them: There is something wrong with this you know what it is?  That's right!  It is missing its spots.  Can you help put 6 spots on the ladybug?

The students use their finger to drag one spot 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 Smartboard).  Make sure that students count aloud as they are moving the spots.  Repeat with the next slide putting spots on the dog.

Slide Eight: I use this slide to demonstrate how to make the number six.  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.  Curve down and wrap around at the middle line, close the line, making a circle.

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 cats there are.  

After the students have had a chance to talk, I ask the students to raise a hand if they know how many cats 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 six cats.  I want everyone to say, "There are six cats."  

To review the number five, I ask,  Now, how many dogs 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 five dogs."  This gives us a quick review from the previous lesson.

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

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, Six Spots 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 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 togetherWe then turn to the first page.  I say to the children, let's read this together.  My ladybug has 6 spots.  I then invite the students to count how many spots are on the ladybug.    We count them together. I say, make sure you say one number for each touch.  Ready, touch…one-two-three-four-five-six!

I then invite the students to pick up their pencils and write the number six, 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. We continue reading and filling in the numbers together.  The last page with does not have guidelines to encourage the students to write the number independently. 

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 Ladybug Number 6 activity sheet is needed for each student.  This sheet is included as a PDF file.  To complete the activity, students will need ink pads and their pencils.  They will "ink" the erasers on the pencils with the ink pads and use them to make spots on the ladybugs.

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, the ladybugs on their worksheets do not have spots.  We need to make sure that they have many spots do you think we will put on each ladybug?  Of course, six!

I demonstrate how to touch the eraser to the ink pad and then touch the ladybug on the sheet with the eraser to make a spot.  I stress that they do not need to grind the eraser into the ink pad (Yes...I had students do that once and ruined several ink pads).  I then say, after you are done putting spots on the ladybugs, you will be writing the number four.  Trace over each four that is on the sheet, remembering to start at the top (I demonstrate for the students on my sheet).  You will need to write 3 more sixes after you trace.

The students begin the activity, see video As the students complete their work, they bring it up for me to assess.  I make sure to have them count the number of spots for me so I can assess whether they are saying one number for each touch and touching each spot 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 Six Dauber Review for students who need additional practice. Students can practice identifying, representing and writing the number 6 with this sheet.