Eight Friends! Exploring the Number Eight

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

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, Eight Friends, 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 some different sea creatures.  The name of our book is Eight Friends.  What do you think it might be about?

I read the first page for them and then the next page...Meet my friends, 8 jellyfish.  I invite the children to count them with me...1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.   I very intentionally point to each jellyfish to model the way I want them to count.   After we count the jellyfish, I then turn the page and we continue on with the next page in the same fashion, making sure to point and have the students join me in counting the the sea creatures.

When we get to the last page, we talk about what the boy means when he says he didn't know it was a lunch date.

After we are done reading the story, we move over to the SMART Board to learn more about the number 8.


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file, Number Eight 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 SMARTBoard.  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 (SMARTBoard 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 eight, count eight items, write the number eight and make a group with eight items.

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

I then continue with the slides.

Slide Two:  This is the number 8.

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

Slide Four:  There are eight fish.  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-eight”.  This step helps students develop “one to one correspondence”. 

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

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

Slide Six and Seven:  Now the students get the opportunity to practice making groups of eight.  I say to them: Have you ever had a fish as a pet?  We are going to put fish in the fish bowl.  How many fish do you think we will put in the bowl?  That's right!  Eight fish.

The students use their finger to drag one fish at a time out of the circle and into fish bowl. (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 fish.  Repeat with the next slide putting crabs on the beach.

Slide Eight: I use this slide to demonstrate how to make the number eight  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 around making a letter S and then close it up.

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 seahorses there are.  

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

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

We then move from the SMARTBoard back to our tables.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, the Eight Friends 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 Eight Friends 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 togetherAfter we read the title, I ask the students, Do you know how many legs the octopus has?  Let's count them together.  Point as we count, ready 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.  We then turn to the first page.  I read it for the students, I want you to meet my friends.  We then turn to the second page.  I say to the children, let's read this together.  Meet my friends.  Eight jellyfish.  We count them together. I say, make sure you say one number for each touch.  Ready, touch…one-two-three-four-five-six-seven eight!

I then invite the students to pick up their pencils and write the number eight, 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 Eight Aquarium Worksheet is needed for each student. To complete the activity, students will also need small fish/underwater stickers. Each student will need a strip with 16 stickers. 

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 fishbowls on our sheet do not have any fish in them.  I am wondering how many fish we should put in each bowl?  Of course, eight!

I show the students how to take the stickers and put them in the fish bowls, counting as I put each one in a bowl.  I pretend to forget what number I am on and ask the students what I should do.  They respond that I can count the ones that I already put in the bowl.  I continue until I fill the bowl with eight fish.   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 eights after you trace. 

I then pass out the stickers to each student. I do not pass them out until after I have given the directions because it is too tempting for the students to play with them.  The students begin working (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 fish in each bowls for me so I can assess whether they are saying one number for each touch and touching each fish 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 Eight Dauber Review for students who need additional practice. Students can practice identifying, representing and writing the number 8 with this sheet.