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Lesson Plans
Autumn Owls Beginning Addition


Counting & Cardinality

  • Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
Operations & Algebraic Thinking
  • Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Materials Materials Needed For the Extension Activity:

  1. Print out the large number cards, photocopy them onto construction paper and cut them out.
  2. Print out the autumn owl and photocopy it onto construction paper. You will need one owl for each student.
  3. Print out the Autumn Owls Addition worksheet. Photocopy the pages to make a double-sided worksheet or staple the pages together. You will need one worksheet for each student.
For the Extension Activity:
  1. Print out the Autumn Owls Partner Game and photocopy the pages. Each pair of students will need two game mats, two sets of picture and number cards, and one spinner.
  2. Cut apart the picture cards and number cards. Place each set of picture and number cards in a zip-close bag.


Hold up the large number cards one at a time, going in order from 0 to 10. Prompt students to say each number aloud with you. Then mix up the cards and have students practice identifying the numbers out of order.



  1. Give each student an autumn owl.
  2. Draw a simple tree on chart paper or on the board. Write an addition sign on the tree trunk. (If desired, you can make a tree on a bulletin board using brown and green butcher paper.)
  3. Tell students that they are going to use their owls to practice adding numbers.
  4. Invite two students to come to the front of the room and stand to the left of the addition sign. Prompt them to hold their owls in front of them.
  5. Invite a third student to stand to the right of the addition sign.
  6. Ask the class to help you add up the owls. Lead them in this fun chant:
          How many wise owls do you see?
          I see three owls sitting in the tree!
  7. After the class has identified the correct sum, invite a volunteer to select the corresponding large number card to show the total number of owls. Have the volunteer stand in front of the tree. Say, “Two plus one equals three.”
  8. Repeat the activity using different numbers of owls.

Independent Practice

  1. Give each student a worksheet.
  2. Instruct students to add up the number of owls in each tree.

Extension Activity

Extension Activity

  1. If students are ready for more complex addition practice, invite them to play the Autumn Owls Partner Game.
  2. Divide students into pairs. Each pair needs two game mats, two sets of picture cards, two sets of number cards, and one spinner. (For practice with sums to 6, use spinner 1. For practice with sums to 10, use spinner 2.)
  3. Give each pair a paper clip and pencil. Show students how to use the paper clip as the arrow for the spinner: Take the paper clip and slide it onto the pencil. Then hold the pencil upright with the tip in the center of the spinner. Flick the paper clip to make it spin around the pencil.
  4. Have players take turns. The first player spins to select a number. She places that many owls in the left box on her game mat. Then she spins again and places that many owls in the right box. She adds up the total number of owls and puts the correct number card on her mat.
  5. The second player spins twice and builds an addition problem on his mat. He adds up the owls and places the correct number card on his mat.
  6. The player with the highest sum wins the round.
  7. Encourage students to clear their mats and play again!

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