Lesson Plan

Addition by Counting

An introduction into learning basic addition

Students will be able to...

  • understand what addition is and how they will use it in their lives
Grades 1
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Reading

Start by reading a picture book on addition such as Quack and Count, Measuring Penny or, Lemonade for Sale. The children will think they are just listening to a story but they are actually getting knowledge about addition.


2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Exploring

Start by handing the students at least 10 small items. For example:10 skittles, 10 pom-pom balls etc. Tell them to lay 3 items down in one group and 2 items down in a seperate group. Then have them count how many items are in front of them. Explain that they have 3 items and when they ADD 2 more they now have a new, bigger amount. 3+2=5. Then experiment with different group sizes. This is hands on so it gets the students interested and engaged. It also gives them a very brief introduction into how addition works. 

If you don't want to handout items, handing out markers and drawing groups of numbers on paper works too.

3 Guided Practice

AdaptedMind Math
Free to Try, Paid

Click on the section for 1st grade math then addiction. I used the addition by counting game. The "game" prompts the student on what to do. The student clicks on individual monsters and then is asked what number they are on. For example it starts with 4 then once they click on their first monster they are asked what comes after 4 (they are supposed to put 5 in the blank). If they get stuck they can have to game check their work and it will explain why the answer is 5.


As they progress through the "game" they earn badges and the problems get bigger. They will be motivated to further themselves in the game which in return will further their knowledge of addition.

4 Independent Practice

Free, Free to Try, Paid

Using this website, print off a worksheet that is engaing to students. I like the one called Apple Math. It lists the numbe and beside it is the amount in apples. This way students can count while they add, similar to the "game" they palyed in the guided practice. Have the students complete the worksheet and they review their answers to see if they are understanding the concept.

5 Wrap Up

Activity: Assessing

Hand out a small 10 question "quiz". List a variety of basic addition problems whose sum is no greater than 10. Allow students to use either a number line or their fingers to help them complete the quiz. This allows you to see if they students are able to solve the basic problems and see if they are ready to move onto more difficult problems.