Emery the Elephant: Exploring the Number 11

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Students will be able to identify, count and represent the number 11.

Big Idea

Students will have fun exploring the number 12 with Emery the Elephant!


10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the story Emery the Elephant Goes to the Grocery Store.  I print the story on a colored printer, laminate the pages for durability and bind with a comb binder.  You could also staple the story or use rings to bind the book.

I gather the students around my big chair and I ask them if they have ever planted a garden.  I want to activate prior knowledge before reading the story.  Some of the students do not know what a garden is.  I call on a student to explain what a garden is to the rest of the class.  The students explains that a garden is a place to grow things like flowers or vegetables.  

The story I am going to read to you today is Emery the Elephant Goes to the Grocery store.  I know that you can buy things at a grocery store, so I am guessing that Emery has some shopping to do.  Let’s see what Emery finds at the story.

I begin reading the story to the students. 

Page 1:  This is Emery the Elephant.  He needs to go the grocery store.  Can you help him get his groceries?

Page 2:  Emery the elephant needs to buy 11 apples.  Can you count 11 apples for Emery?  I invite the students to count the apples with me.  I carefully point to each apple to help the students develop one to one correspondence. 

Page 3-5:  Continue as with page 2, purposefully pointing to each item as the students count. 

Page 6:  Now Emery is ready to go home!  We count the bags of groceries and I read to the students what is in the speech bubble.   Uh-oh! I don’t think there is enough room in my trunk!  A couple students get the joke.  They explain to the rest of the class my somewhat poor attempt at humor.  I ask the students what number they think we will be learning about today.  The students shout out an enthusiastic “11”.  We now move over to the SMARTBoard for direct instruction time. 

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, 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 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 find the number eleven, count eleven items, write the number eleven and make a group with eleven items.

Language Objective

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


Slide 2:  This is the number eleven. It has two digits.  They are both ones.

Slide 3:  When I count, I say the number eleven after the number ten.  I then have the students count with me to 11.  I point to each number on the slide as we count. 

Slide 4:  There are eleven apples. I touch each one as I count, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11.  I purposefully touch each apple as I count.  I want the students to develop one to one correspondence. 

Slide 5:  Which group has eleven?  Erase the circle to check.  I invite a student to come up and count the bananas to find the group with 11.    After the students erases, we count the bananas as a group to check his or her work.  Do you know how many are in the other groups?  I invite additional students up to the SMARTBoard to count the other groups and tell how many are in them.  They erase to check their answer.  Again, the class counts as a group to double check their counting. 

Slide 6:  Can you put 11 carrots in the shopping cart?   Count as you move each one, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11. I invite a student to come up and drag 11 carrots into the shopping cart.  I stress that the student needs to count each carrot as it is moved.  We again check the student’s work by counting aloud. 

Slide 7:  Can you put 11 potatoes in the grocery bag?   Count as you move each one, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11.  I invite a student to come up and drag 11 potatoes into the bag, reminding them to count aloud.  We count to check the student’s work. 

Slide 8:  Drag the circle to cover the number 11s.  I invite students to come up and drag a circle over each number 11.  We talk about how the digit 1 in the number 11 can sometimes look different. 

Slide 9:  A number 11 is just like making a 1 and a 1.  Start at the top and go straight down to the bottom line.  Do the same thing for the second one; start at the top and go straight down to the bottom line.  I invite a student to come up and demonstrate how to trace the number 11.  Another student is invited to come up and write a number 11. 

Slide 10:  It is now Turn and Talk time.  Turn and Talk allows my students acquiring the English language a chance to practice their academic vocabulary.  The students have a designated Turn and Talk partner.  I have the students hold hands in the air with their partner so I can check to make sure everyone is partnered up  I then ask them the question from the slide, Now, turn to a friend and tell them which group has eleven, the grapes or the pineapple?  How many are in the other group?


After the students have had time to talk, I invite a student to share with the class.  I ask, Which group has eleven?  The student says.  The grapes.  I invite the student to come up and count the bunches of grapes for the class.  To help reinforce English language, I repeat the answer as a complete sentence.  I say, That’s right.  There are 11 bunches of grapes.  I want the students to hear the answer phrased as a complete sentence.  I then ask the students how many pineapples are in the group.  The student answers in a complete sentence saying, There are 7 pineapples.  Again, we count the pineapples to allow for extra practice in building one to one correspondence.  We then move back to our seats for guided practice. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the Emery the Elephant Student Book included as a PDF with this lesson.  Use the double staple option on the copy machine and simply cut the copy in half to have two student books.

I distribute the books to the students and I have them write their names on the book.  I tell them, Now ,we are going to read the Emery the Elephant story as a class.  We will get a chance to practice counting to 11 and writing the number 11.  I ask the students to point to the title on the page.   We read it together. 

We then turn to the first page.  I invite the students to read with me.  After we read each page, I invite the students to count the items on each page together with me.  When we are done counting each page, the students pick up their pencil and trace the number 11.  I remind them to start their numbers at the top line.

We continue in this fashion until we have completed the book.  I then have the students set the book aside at their spot.  There will be time to color in the book after our independent practice.  

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the Number 11 Activity Sheet. You will also need ink pads for the students and pencils that still have erasers on the end.  I keep a set of pencils that we use only for stamping.  I pass them out to the students and collect them at the end of each activity.

I pass out the activity sheet to the students.  I tell them, We are going to help Emery the Elephant with his shopping  He needs to put 11 oranges in each shopping bag.  You are going to use your pencil and very carefully stamp 11 oranges in the first bag.  When you are done with the first bag, you will go on to the second bag and then the third bag.   After you are all done stamping, you will practice writing the number 11.  Trace over the two 11 with the arrows then write three more number 11s. 

The students begin working (see Video) and I circulate around the room to observe their work and correct any mistakes.  When the students are done with their work, I have them bring it to me.  I ask them to count the oranges in one of the bags so I can observe their one to one correspondence when working with the number 11.