Monster Mash Ten Frames

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Students will be able to use ten frames to count quantities and match numerals 0-5 to those quantities.

Big Idea

Kindergartners love to hear about Halloween monsters and goblins in this counting lesson.


5 minutes

To kick this lesson off, I play The Monster Mash for my students via YouTube. This song is a great attention grabber, and helps transition us into math. There is an ad that needs to be skipped over. I make sure my computer is paused at the correct starting point prior to the lesson.


10 minutes

I feel it is important to briefly review a ten frame before independent work can begin. I ask children to reflect on what a ten frame is. In prior lessons, I have explained that a ten frame is just like a picture frame that holds up to ten objects. Students generally answer with an explanation similar to this.

I ask the students if we could build a ten frame using ourselves as the objects. They love this idea, and are eager to be a part of our human ten frame. Kindergartners are hands-on learners and learn best through active exploration. I split the children into two groups of ten, and ask them to build a ten frame! I have 24 students in my class, but on this particular day only 20 were present, so it worked out perfectly. If all students were present, I would have had to add a third group after the first two had gone.

Below is one of our ten frames. The kids did awesome!

Independent Practice

10 minutes

I found an awesome monster math packet for free on Teachers Pay Teachers. The user is Rowdy from Room 300. I did not use the entire resource, below is a completed student example of the particular page I used in this lesson.

During independent practice, students will count the ten frames, then cut & glue the matching numeral. This assignment addresses numerals 0-5, which is a reinforcement of prior math lessons.

Ten frames are an important graphic tool in mathematics. Ten frames lay the foundation for understanding that numbers are composed of ones and tens. Using ten frames gives my students a strong sense of "ten" and place value which is needed later on down the road.