Farm Fun-Joining Groups

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Students will be able to join two groups to indicate how many in all or altogether.

Big Idea

Students will have fun learning how to join groups with this farm themed lessons.


10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need a copy of Farmer Fred Puts It Altogether included as a PDF with this lesson.  I print the book on a colored printer and bind the book with a comb binder.  You can also use book rings or a stapler to bind the book.  I laminate the pages for durability and to allow students to write on the pages, making the book interactive.  You will also need an erasable marker. 

I gather the students at my big chair and show them the book cover.  I tell the students, Today we are going to read another Farmer Fred story.  This one is called, Farmer Fred puts it all together.  Let's read and find out what this story is about.

Page 1:  Hi!  It’s me, Farmer Fred.  You did a great job counting all my animals.  Now I am wondering if you can help me add up groups of animals. 

Page 2:  You said I have 3 horses and 2 cows.  How many do I have altogether? I invite a student to come up to the book and record how many there is altogether.  We check the students work and then we say the number sentence together:  3 and 2 is 5. 

Page 3:  You said I have 3 sheep and 1 pig.  How many in all?  Again, I invite a student up to add up the animals.  We check the work and say the number sentence.

Page 4:  You said I have 4 chickens and 2 ducks.  How many do I have altogether?  Another student comes up and adds up the animals with the class checking the work and saying the number sentence.

Page 5:  That was some great adding!  To honor your great counting, I think I will make you a nice homemade breakfast.  How about some eggs, toast and crispy bacon?

Page 5:  Crispy bacon?  I’m out of here! I discuss with the class why Gordy the Pig might not like it that the farmer is going to make breakfast with bacon.  The students then move over to the SMARTBboard for direct instruction.

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use the Joining Groups SMARTBoard file.  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 you can use to 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 Smartboard.

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 join two groups to answer "How many?' problems.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend how many there are when two groups are joined. 

Slide 2:  We have been counting how many things there are in two groups.  I invite two students to come up the board and count and record how many animals are in each group. 

Slide 3:  Now we are going to join the two groups together and find out how many "in all" or "altogether".  Whenever we hear the words "in all" or "altogether" that is a clue we need to join groups.  I draw a circle around the two groups and then demonstrate how to count how many in all. I record the number in the square.  I then say the sentence, 3 and 3 is 6.  

Slide 4:  Let's join some more groups.  How many in all?  I invite up three students.  The first student counts the number of animals in the first group.  The second student counts the number of animals in the second group and the third student draws a circle around the two groups and writes the number altogether.  When they are done, we say the number sentence together.  This is a very important step for helping the students (especially English Language Learners) develop their academic vocabulary.

Slide 5-7: Continue as above. 

Slide 8:  It's is now Turn and Talk Time.  During Turn and Talk, my students get the opportunity to practice their academic language.  This is especially important for my English Language Learners, but all of my students benefit from this practice.

Every student has a Turn and Talk partner.  I ask them to hold hands with their partner and raise their hands in the air so I know that everyone has a partner.  I then tell the students that I have two questions for them.  The first question is, "What words tell us to join two groups together?"  I give the students time to discuss the question.  When they are done, I ask them to share.  The student tells the class the words are "altogether" and "in all".  I repeat the student's response for the class, "If we hear the words "altogether" and "in all" that means we join the groups." 

I then ask the students the next question, "How do we solve this problem?"  I give the students time to talk and ask a student to explain to the class how to solve the problem.  I again rephrase the student's response to the class to reinforce the academic vocabulary.

We now return to our seats for guided practice. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Farm Animal Masks included as a PDF with this lesson.  You will need one mask per student.  Print a variety of numbers of each animal ( 1 bunny, 4 cows, 3 pigs, etc). I print the masks on colored paper and laminate for durability.  I trim around the outside of the masks and then tape a tongue depressor to the back of each mask. 

I tell the students that we are going to practice joining groups.  I pass out the masks to the students and then I call different combinations of animals in front of the class.  I tell the class, I want the cows and the horses to go to the front of the class.  The cows and horses go to the front of the class,  The cows gather on one side and horses on the other.  I ask the class, How many cows are there?  and then How many horses are there?  Then I say to the class, How many in all?  I call on a student to share the answer.  After the student gives the answer, I make sure to say the number sentence for the class (i.e.-  3 cows and 2 horses is 5) and have them repeat the sentence. 

We do several more problems until everyone has had a chance to go in front of the class.  I make sure the entire class repeats the sentence.  This helps develop the students' academic language. 

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For the independent practice portion of this lesson, you will need the Farm Animal Joining Groups included as a PDF with this lesson.  Print the cards on a colored printer.  Cut them apart and tape the cards around your classroom.  Print one copy of the black and white recording sheet for each student. 

I distribute the recording sheet to the students and explain to them, You will be going on a hunt to find cards with animals.  On each card there will be two groups of animals.  On the matching letter on your recording sheet, write down how many animals there are in each group.  Then join the two groups and write down how many animals there are in all.  When you are done, I will check your sheet.

I circulate around the room and observe the students as they are working.  I watch for any mistake the students might make and correct them.  When the students are done, I check their work before they put it in their mailbox.