sign in

Don’t have an account? Register now.

e-mail address:
  Forgot your password?
Click here to be e-mailed a new password.
Lesson Plans
Counting Apples

CCSS Math/Counting & Cardinality
  • K.CC.B.4: Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
  • K.CC.B.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 Needed

Preparation: Count out a set of 20 Apple Bulletin Board Accents and use a marker to number them from 1 to 20. Or, if you prefer, download and print out the large apple template and trace it onto red construction paper. Use scissors to make 20 large apple cutouts, and then number the cutouts from 1 to 20.


Read aloud Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss. As you read, point to the apples on top of the characters? heads and have the class count them aloud together.


  1. Hold up one of the Apple Bulletin Board Accents or large apple cutouts for the whole class to see. Point out that each apple has a different number written on it from 1 to 20.
  2. Explain that you would like the students to count aloud with you as you display the apples on the bulletin board or chalkboard. Say, “Let?s count out 10 apples. I will put them one on top of the other in a column, just like in the book. Will you count with me?” Then invite the students to count with you as you place the apples in order in a vertical column, as shown in the book.
  3. Next, say, “Now let?s count out 12 apples. This time, I am going to place the apples in rows as we count.” Repeat the process, this time placing the apples in two rows of six or three rows of four. Then, ask, “How do you know this is 12?” Pause for students? responses and encourage them to identify groups that make up a number, such as two rows of six, three groups of four and so on. Repeat with 14 and 16 apples.
  4. Finally, say, “Let?s count out 20 apples!” Repeat the process by scattering the apples in a circle or a scattered configuration. Point out the different ways that you are displaying the apples. Share and discuss the configurations, such as two rows of 10 apples or four circles of five apples still totals 20 apples.

Guided Practice

  1. Make 20 copies of the Apple Tree counting mat. Write numbers from 1 to 20 on the basket of the Apple Tree counting mats
  2. Pair students with a partner. Give each pair an Apple Tree counting mat and 20 apple counters. Or you can place the counters in a pile at the center of a table for easy access.
  3. Instruct students to look at the number on the basket at the bottom of the tree, count out that number of apple counters and place them on the tree. Point out that each mat has a different number on the basket, so the number of apples they count out will be different from the number of apples their classmates are counting.
  4. As students place their apples on the trees, encourage them to think about placing apples in a number of smaller groups that total the number they are trying to count. For example, if a student is trying to count out 16 apples, have her make four rows of four apples or two columns of eight apples.
  5. Have students swap Apple Tree counting mats to count out a different number of apples.

Independent Practice
  1. Provide each student with a 12" x 18" sheet of construction paper.
  2. Then give students a copy of the “I have ______ apples up on top!” writing frame and encourage them to choose a number to write in the blank.
  3. Next, have them glue their photo directly on top of the writing frame. (Note: Paper should be oriented vertically.)
  4. Instruct students to count out the corresponding number of apple counters and glue them to the construction paper in a vertical column above their photo. For larger numbers, students will need to glue the apples in two rows above their photo.
  5. Instruct students to tape the writing frame onto the bottom of the paper and write their name at the top.

View the preschool–kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
Internet Retailer Hot 100 Award Internet Retailer Mobile 100 Award Top 500 Internet Retailer Trustwave Norton Secured PayPal
©2017 Lakeshore Learning Materials. All rights reserved.