Seven is a Ball! Exploring the Number Seven

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

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, Seven Is A Ball, 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 to help them make connections to the text.

What do you see on the cover of the book?  That's right, there are different types of balls.  Raise your hand if you have ever played with one of these balls.  

I read the first page for them and invite them to join me as I count:  "I have 7 footballs". Can you count them with me...1-2-3-4-5-6-7.   I very intentionally point to each ball to model the way I want them to count.   After we count the balls, I have the students make a prediction about what could be played with the balls.  I then turn the page and we read together to see if there prediction was correct.  We then continue on with the next page in the same fashion, making sure to point and have the students join me in counting the balls. 

When we get to the last page, we talk about what the penguin and polar bear might do at the beach.

After we are done reading the story, we move over to the SMART Board to learn more about the number 7.


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, the 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 seven, count seven items, write the number seven and make a group with seven.

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

I then continue with the slides.

Slide Two:  This is the number 7.

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

Slide Four:  There are seven soccer balls.  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-seven”.  This step helps students develop “one to one correspondence”. 

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

I have the students touch and say one-two-thee-four-five-six-seven 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 seven, 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 five and six objects each to review those numbers

Slide Six and Seven:  Now the students get the opportunity to practice making groups of seven.  I say to them: Have you ever played soccer?  We are going to put some soccer balls in the net.  How many soccer balls do you think we will put in the net?  That's right, we are going to put seven balls in the net.

The students use their finger to drag one ball 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 balls.  Repeat with the next slide putting basketballs in the basket.

Slide Eight: I use this slide to demonstrate how to make the number seven.  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. Slide to the right.  Angle down until you touch the bottom line.

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 football players there are.  

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

To review the number six, I ask,  Now, how many basketball players 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 six basketball players."  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, the Seven is A Ball 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.  We then turn to the first page.  I say to the children, let's read this together.  I have seven footballs.  I then invite the students to count how many footballs are on the page.   We count them together. I say, make sure you say one number for each touch.  Ready, touch…one-two-three-four-five-six-seven!

I then invite the students to pick up their pencils and write the number seven, 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 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 Seven Is a Ball Student Activity Sheet is needed for each student.  To complete the activity, students will need a pencil and color crayons. 

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,  have lots of different kinds of balls on my activity sheet.  I also see the!  That's right.  We need to color some of the sports balls in.  How many do you think we will need to color in?  Yes, seven!  Wow, what smart kindergarteners!

I demonstrate for them how to start on the left side of the paper and color seven balls in each group.  I also tell the students, there may not be the same number of balls left uncolored in each group.  I then tell them, when you are done coloring in the balls, I want you to practice writing the number seven.  Where do we start our number seven?  You're right, at the top!

As the students complete their work, they bring it up for me to assess.  I make sure to have them count the number of balls for me so I can assess whether they are saying one number for each touch and touching each ball 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 Seven Dauber Review for students who need additional practice. It is a PDF file.  Students can practice identifying, representing and writing the number 7 with this sheet.