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Lesson Plans
Counting Hearts
Preschool–Kindergarten
Objective Objective

CCSS Math/Counting and Cardinality (K.CC.5)
  • Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
Materials Materials Needed
Preparation Preparation
  1. Print out copies of all reproducibles for each student—the paper hearts page, conversation heart mat, candy jar mats and candy pieces (for the Learning Extension activity), number cards and Counting Hearts reproducible.
  2. Cut apart the number cards and place them in a zip-close plastic bag.

Introduction Introduction

Read aloud One Heart: A Valentine Counting Book by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. As you read, pause and ask students to help you count the hearts on each page.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Tell students that they are going to practice counting hearts of their own by playing a game called “Mystery Number.”
  2. Give each student, or pair of students, a conversation heart mat and paper hearts page (or use conversation candy hearts). If using the paper hearts, ask students to cut them out.
  3. Have a student volunteer draw a number card from the plastic bag and say that number aloud. Count out the number with students as you ask them to place that number of conversation or paper hearts on their heart mats. Then say the number aloud again.
  4. Ask, “How do you know you put the correct number on the mat?” Invite students to explain their thinking, and reinforce the concept of counting and cardinality. Model the activity for students by displaying the numbers and hearts on chart paper, a whiteboard or a document camera.
  5. Repeat this activity a few times so that several students have the opportunity to pull the “mystery number” out of the bag! For additional practice, provide a set of number cards, paper hearts and a conversation heart mat in a zip-close bag to pairs of students and encourage them to work together.
Guided Practice Guided Practice

  1. Place students in small groups of four to five students each, and provide each group with 20 conversation or paper hearts. Invite each group to take turns playing a game called “How Many Hearts?”
  2. Tell students to select one person in their group to close her eyes while the others arrange a number of hearts in a row, using as many of the 20 hearts as they wish.
  3. Prompt the groups to ask their selected person to open her eyes and count out the number of hearts in the row.
  4. Encourage students to play the game several times so that each student in their group has a chance to practice using one-to-one correspondence.
  5. As a variation, have students try arranging the hearts in a circle or a rectangular array instead of a row. (For example, students can arrange the hearts in a set of five, a set of 10, etc.)
Independent Practice Independent Practice

  1. Provide each student with a copy of the “Counting Hearts” reproducible and some crayons.
  2. Instruct students to look at the number shown on the left and then count and color that number of hearts on the right.
Learning Extension Learning Extension

  1. Set up a learning center so that students can practice counting out candies using one-to-one correspondence.
  2. Place the candy jar mats along with a set of candy pieces in the center.
  3. Challenge students to select a candy jar mat, count out the number of candy pieces indicated on the mat, and then place the pieces “in” the jar.
  4. Encourage students to repeat the activity with a different mat, until they have had the opportunity to practice with all five mats.

View the preschool–kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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