Farmer Fred-Identifying Quantities in Groups

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Students will be able to identify quantities in groups.

Big Idea

Students already know how to count quantities in groups. This farm themed lesson reviews this important skill in preparation for addition.


10 minutes

To open this lesson, you will need a copy of Farmer Fred Takes Inventory included as a PDF with this lesson.  I print the book on a colored printer and laminate the pages for durability.  The book can be bound with a comb or book rings.  It could also be stapled.  You will need an erasable marker to make the book interactive.

I gather the students around my chair and I ask them if they know what a farmer is.  The students are excited to share their information.  Two students live on a farm.  After our discussion, I summarize for the students to assist my EL students by saying, That's right.  A farmer is someone who works on a farm.  They might raise animals or grow food or do both.  Today I have a book to read to you about a farmer.  This farmer's name is Fred.  The name of our story is Farmer Fred Takes Inventory.  Do you know what it means to take inventory?  The students are perplexed by this word.  I try to put it into a context they can understand by saying, If I collect stickers, I like to count and see how many I have of each kind of sticker.  This is called taking inventory.  When you take inventory, you are counting how many you have of something.  So, what do you think Farmer Fred might be counting?  You think animals?  Well, let's read and find out.

Page 1:  Hi!  My name is Farmer Fred.  I want to count how many animals I have.  Do you think you can help me?

Page 2:  Can you tell me how many horses and cows I have?  I invite a student to come up to the book and count the horses.  The student records the answer.  Another student comes up and counts the cows and records the answer.  We then check each students work.  I read the sentence at the bottom of the page, 3 horses and 2 cows.  I have the students repeat.  I want them to get accustomed to saying the word "and" as we are talking about the two groups. 

Page 3-4:  Continue as above. 

Page 5: That’s was some award winning counting!  Here’s a blue ribbon for you!

Page 6:  Hey…I want a ribbon too!  Gordy!  Don’t be greedy!! The students love that their favorite character Gordy makes an appearance in this book.  

So boys and girls, we are going to talk about counting groups.  Let's move over to the SMARTBoard.

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use the Counting in 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 Counting in Groups 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:  When we are counting groups, we count each group separately.  I gesture with my hands to show how each group is a separate group.  I have the students help me count the number of animals in each group and I record their answers.  We say the number sentence together,  3 and 3.  This helps build the students' vocabulary.  

Slide 3:  Can you count how many are in these groups? I invite two students to come up and count the animals in each group.  Again, we check their work and say the number sentence.   

Slide 4-6:  Continue as above. 

Slide 8:  It's is now Turn and Talk Time.  I incorporate Turn and Talk into my lessons to help the students strengthen their academic vocabulary.  I have assigned every student 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 ask the students, My friend counted these two groups.  How did he do?  I give the students time to talk.  I hear them say, "Bad."  I ask them to tell what he did or did not do correctly.  I want them to verbalize their math thinking.  

The students finish their discussion and then I ask for a student to share with the class.  The students states that he made a mistake because there is only four in each group, not eight.  The student goes on to say, He might have put the groups together because 4 and 4 is 8.  Wow!!  That's great thinking!!

We 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 (These masks are also used in my lesson on joining groups, and plus and the plus and minus sign, so they can get some mileage).  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 counting 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?  I make sure the students answer in  complete sentences, "There are three cows." Then I say to the class, Let's say it as a sentence, There are 3 cows and 2 horses.  Three and Two.  See video

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 this part of the lesson, you will need the Farm Animal Counting Groups included as a PDF with this lesson.  Make one copy per students.

I distribute the activity sheet to the students and have them write their names at the top.  I tell the students, We will be counting some animals that are in groups.  I want you to count each group of animals and then write the number that are in that group in the box underneath.  When you have completed your work, I will check it before you put it in your mailbox. 

The students begin working and I move around the room to watch them work.  When they are done, I check their work before they put it in their mailboxes.