Emmitt is Thankful: Exploring the Number 18

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Students will be able to identify, count and represent the number 18.

Big Idea

Students will have fun learning about the number 18 with this Thanksgiving themed lesson that has students thinking about gratitude.


10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the story Emmitt is Thankful, included as a PDF with this lesson. I print the book with a colored printer and laminate the pages for increaed durability.  I bind the book with a comb binder, but it could easily be stapled or bound with book rings. 

I gather the students together and begin the story with a discussion that will help the students build background knowledge for the lesson.  This is especially important for my English Language Learners.   I ask the students, Do you know what it means to be thankful?  I call on students to help define the word.   I then say to the students,  There are many things that I am thankful for.  I am thankful for my family, my home, my friends, for food and clothes.  I am also thankful for every one of you.  I want you to turn to a neighbor and discuss some of the things that you are thankful for.   I give the students time to talk.  When they are done, I hold up the book for them to see. Today we are going to read a story about a boy who is thankful.  I want you to see if he is thankful for some of the same things that you are. 

The title of our story is Emmitt is Thankful.

Page 1:  This is Emmitt. It is almost Thanksgiving and Emmitt is thinking of all the things he is thankful for.

Page 2:  Emmitt is thankful that he has 18 toy trucks to play with.   We count the trucks together.   I purposefully point when counting to help the students develop one-to-one correspondence.  

Page 3-5:  Continue as with page 2, counting the items on each page while purposefully pointing to each one. 

Page 6:  Emmitt is not thankful for tummy ache he has after eating all those candy bars.  (Speech bubble:   Maybe 18 candy bars were too many…)

We discuss whether the students were thankful for the same things as Emmitt.  We also talk about why Emmitt ended up with a tummy ache. 

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

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

Slide 2:  This is the number eighteen. It has two digits a 1 and a 8.

Slide 3:  When I count, I say the number 18 after the number 17.

Slide 4:  There are eighteen toy trucks.  I touch each one as I count, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-14-15-16-17-18.

Slide 5:  Which group has eighteen?  Erase the circle to check. I invite a student to come up and count to find the group with 18.    After the students erases, we count the houses 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 18 dogs in the doghouse?   Count as you move each one, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18. I stress that the student needs to count each dog as it is moved.  We again check the student’s work by counting aloud. 

Slide 7:  Can you put 18 book on the shelf?  Continue as in above slide.  

Slide 8:   A number 18 is just like making a 1 and an 8.  To make a number one start, at the top and go straight down to the bottom line. To make a number eight, start at the green dot.  Curve around making a letter S and then close it up.

Slide 9:  It is time for Turn and Talk.  I incorporate Turn and Talk into every math lesson to allows my students the opportunity to practice their academic language.  This is important for all of my students, especially those learning English. 

Each student in my class 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 shirts 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 16.  I invite the student to come up and count the apricots for the class.  To help reinforce English language, I repeat the answer as a complete sentence.  I say, That’s right.  There are 16 shirts.  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 pants are there?  I repeat the process as above, having the student count the pants and then I restate the answer in a complete sentence.

We return to our seats for guided practice.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the Emmitt is Thankful Student Book.  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 say, We are going to Emmitt is Thankful.  We will read about all the things Emmitt is thankful for and practice counting to 18.  I have the students point to and read the title of the book with me. 

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 18.  I remind them to start their numbers at the top line.

When we are done reading the book, the students set it aside.  They will be coloring in it after they finish their independent practice. 

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the Number 18 Activity Sheet. The student will need crayons to complete the activity sheet.

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 be things that Emmitt is thankful for. In each group, we need to color in 18 things.  You can color 18 books, then 18 blocks, and finally 18 shirts.

The students begin working (see video) and I circulate around the room to monitor their progress and catch any mistakes.  When they are done, I have them pick one of the groups and count for me.  I want to check their understanding of the number 18 and one-to-one correspondence.  They place their completed work in their mailboxes as they finish.