The Backyard Barbecue: Exploring the Number 15

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Students will be able to identify, count and represent the number 15.

Big Idea

Students learn all about setting the table while exploring the number 15.


10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the story The Backyard Barbecue, included as a PDF with this lesson.  I like to print the book on a colored printer, laminate the pages and then bind with a comb binder.  It could also be stapled or punched and bound with book rings. 

I gather the students around my big chair.  It is important to help my students activate prior knowledge and expand their vocabulary, so I have a short conversation with them prior to read the story.   I ask them, Have you ever had a barbecue?  Do you know what a barbecue is?  Can someone explain to the class what a barbecue is?  I call on a student to explain to the class what a barbecue is.  I then talk to the class about different foods that we can make on a grill.  I have the students turn to a neighbor and share what their favorite barbecue food is.    I call on a few students to share with the class after their discussion time. 

I tell the students, Today we are going to read a story about a barbecue, it is called, The Backyard Barbecue. 

I begin reading the story to the students. 

Page 1:  Greedy Gordy has 15 friends coming to a barbecue.  He needs to make 15 hamburgers. The students are excited to see their favorite recurring math character, Greedy Gordy.  

Page 2:  He will need 15 buns. I ask the class to count with me.  I purposefully point to help my students develop one-to-one correspondence.  

Page 3-6:  Continue as with page 2, pointing to each item as the students count to help develop one to one correspondence.  As I am reading, a student comments, "I bet Gordy is going to eat all of the hamburgers."  We stop and discuss how this student made a prediction. It is a great time to get some extra literary instruction in.

Page 7:  Gordy, aren’t those hamburgers for your guests (Speech bubble) Hey…can someone drive my friends to a fast food restaurant?? The students comment that the prediction was correct.  We talk about why Gordy is looking for someone to drive his friends to the restaurant.

We now move over to the SMARTBoard to continue our lesson.  

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 fifteen, count fifteen items, write the number fifteen and make a group with fifteen.

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

Slide 2:  This is the number fifteen. It has two digits a 1 and a 5.

Slide 3:  When I count, I say the number 15 after the number 14.  I invite the students to count with me.  

Slide 4:  There are fifteen slices of cheese.  I touch each one as I count, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15.  I purposefully touch each slice of cheese as I count to build one-to-one correspondence.

Slide 5:  Which group has fifteen tomatoes?  Erase the circle to check. I invite a student to come up and count to find the group with 15.    After the students erases, we count the 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 make a group that has fifteen? 
Count as you move the coffee cups, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15.  I stress that the student needs to count each pickle as it is moved.  We again check the student’s work by counting aloud. 

Slide 7:  Try making another set of fifteen.  This time it will be fifteen hamburgers.

Slide 8:   A number 15 is just like making a 1 and a 5.  Start at the top and go straight down to the bottom line.To make five, make a hat, go down and make a fat tummy.

Slide 9:  It is now Turn and Talk time.  Turn and Talk is an intentional language building time integrated into every lesson.  It provide an opportunity for all students, especially English Language Learners, to develop and expand their academic vocabulary.  

Every student has an assigned 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 how many onions there are.

After the students have had time to talk, I invite a student to share with the class.  The student tells the class that there are 12.  I invite the student to come up and count the onions for the class.  To help reinforce English language, I repeat the answer as a complete sentence.  I say, That’s right.  There are 12 onions.  It is important for the students to hear the answer phrased as a sentence.  This helps expand their knowledge of English syntax.  I then ask the students,  How many lettuce leaves are there?  I repeat the process as above, having the student count the lettuce and then I restate the answer in a complete sentence for the students. 

We return to our seats for guided practice.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the The Backyard Barbecue Student Book included as a PDF with this lesson.  If you double staple on the side when duplicating, two books are printed with each copy.  You just need to cut the copy in half. 

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 Backyard Barbecue as a class.  We will all get the chance to do some counting to 15.  To reinforce an important literacy skill,  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 15.  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 15 Activity Sheet included as a PDF with this lesson. You will also need something to use as "seeds" as the students will be gluing 15 "seeds" to the top of their hamburger bun.  You can have students punch 15 holes out of brown construction paper to glue on, or have them glue on 15 sunflower seeds.  Either way, there is some great pincer grasp activity happening with this lesson. 

I pass out the activity sheet to the students.  After the students have put their name on their paper, I tell them, We are going to putting 15 sesame seeds on the hamburger bun.  You will need a small piece of brown paper and a hole punch.  Punch out 15 seeds and put the on the bun.  Double check your work by counting them again.   You will finish by practicing writing the number 15 at the bottom of your page.  

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 their seeds so I can check their understanding of the number and their one-to-one correspondence when counting.  The students place their completed work in their mailboxes and then color in their guided practice book while waiting for their friends to finish.