Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fish Count

Lore Davis
Alachua County Schools


Students participate in hands-on activities in which they count and match objects to 10 or more using one-to-one correspondence and make a record of objects counted, which will be kept in a math portfolio.


The student dictates or writes simple informational texts (for example, descriptions, labels, lists).

The student counts up to 10 or more objects using verbal names and one-to-one correspondence.

The student reads and writes numerals to 10 or more.

The student uses sets of concrete materials to represent quantities, to 10 or more, given in verbal or written form.


-[Fish Eyes] By Lois Ehlert, 1990, New York, Voyager Books, Harcourt Brace & Company, ISBN 0-15228051-0.
-A math journal for each student
-5 work mats (9 in. by 6 in. laminated construction paper)
-Fish Count- booklet for each child
-Pencil for each child
-Cards numbered 1-10
-5 bowls of fish counters (20 in each bowl)
Fish counters are toy fish (approximately one inch long) that are used for math, science and language activities. They can be purchased from teacher catalogs such as Lakeshore Learning Materials, 2695 E. Dominguez St., Carson, CA 90810, 1-800-421-5354.


Obtain all items needed listed in the materials list.


This is day 5 of the unit A Counting We Will Go.

Review of days 3 and 4 in the unit A Counting We Will Go. Remind the students that during the past two days they have identified numbers and matched and counted zoo animal counters and cat counters with those numbers. As part of the review have students identify numbers on a dice and show that number of zoo animal counters and/or cat counters. This should be done for numbers 1 through 10.

1. Share Fish Eyes with the students during small group instruction. Have the children count along as they look at each page. Identify the number on each page after the fish are counted. Have the children repeat the number.

2. Share the book again with the students. Students should count the fish on each page again. Then, have students count to see how many fish there are in all.

3. Next, have all students show a specified number of fish on a work mat. This could be done sequentially initially on a mat or on the table. The teacher says, -Place one fish counter on your mat. Now, place that fish back in your bowl. Next, place two fish counters on your mat. Now, place those fish back in your bowl. Next, place three fish counters on your mat.- Continue in this manner until the children have counted up to ten fish and placed them on the mat. Then, show the students a number card also to help them identify the number symbol with the number of objects. If students place the fish in rows, it would be easier for them to see the pattern of one more fish being added each time. You could also discuss the concept of one less.

4. Students will be given their math journals. Tell the students that they are going to be identifying a number, writing the number, drawing that number of fish on a page in their journals and then telling or writing to describe the fish. Begin by showing the students the number one number card and asking them to write the number, draw the specified number of fish and then describe or write about the fish drawn. The teacher can fill in the descriptive word or the child can sound out and write the word him/herself. Continue in this manner sequentially until the children have drawn up to 10 fish in a group. The teacher will act as a facilitator during this activity.

5. Students should then return to group and share their work with the group.
The group can help count the fish in each booklet.


Teacher observation of student records (math journal) and teacher observation of students identifying, drawing and counting the number of fish on each page of the journal. The student should also dictate or write about what color or kind of fish are on each page. The two performance levels for the booklet are 1) mastered (student is able to use objects to represent whole numbers to 10)
2) being developed (student is able to use objects to represent some whole numbers to 10). The math journal entry will be used as a formative assessment.

This coincides with the kindergarten report card.


The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

This lesson requires prior experiences counting up to ten objects with one to one correspondence.
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