Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Arranging Numbers from 1 to 5

Tammy Hales


The students are expected to explore arrangements of numbers up to 5 and explore conservation of numbers.


The student associates verbal names, written word names, and standard numerals with the whole numbers less than 1000.

The student understands the relative size of whole numbers between 0 and 1000.

The student understands that whole numbers can be represented in a variety of equivalent forms.


-Manipulatives: pattern blocks, unifix cubes, counters, tiles, and/or buttons.
-Consumable: beans, cotton balls, paper clips, toothpicks, and/or stickers
-Three pencils
-Labeled index cards enough for each child in your class to have one of each number (3,4, and 5)


1. Gather materials: pictures in nature

2. Label index cards

3. Gather manipulatives and glue


1. Show pictures of things in nature. Point out the different arrangements that are found (examples: eggs in a nest, acorns, animal families, leaves, and so on.)

2. a. Arrange 3 pencils in a design on the floor. Describe it. Have children tell how many there are in the group.
b. Ask for volunteers to make different arrangements. With the help of the children, describe the designs. Point out that although the designs are different, they are the same in number.
c. Repeat this activity with different numbers up to five and different manipulatives.

3. a. Label index cards with the numbers 3, 4, and 5. Put each card on a separate table, with different manipulatives on each table.
b. Invite children to visit the number stations and make arrangements of 3, 4, or 5 objects.
c. Have children discusss whether their designs are the same or different. Point out that although they look different, they are the same number.

4. a. Replace manipulatives with consumable manipulatives at each number station. Add to each station glue containers and index cards prelabeled with the numbers 3,4, and 5.
b. Have children glue their consumable manipulatives to the index cards showing their creative designs for that specific number. Invite the children to visit all the number stations if time permits.

Special Note: The software title that is included in this lesson plan is turned on during center-time in my kindergarten classroom. It is used to review and to practice skills.

This is an activity that I did in my classroom. It worked well showing me exactly who needed extended help with the concepts and standards addressed. I will continue to use this activity and would suggest repeating it with children that need extra help in these areas.


Listen to the students' discussions and explanations during the teaching and modeling section to gauge their understandings about numbers being represented in a variety of equivalent forms and that this corresponds with the written number.
Observe the children's cards to see that they have glued down the correct number of items for each numeral represented.
Have the students help you arrange the mobile. Pass out the cards that were made and then ask the students to place the card on the mobile under the correct numeral. As they build -strands- of 3, 4, and 5 continue to discuss the different yet same issues modeled in the teaching procedures.


Make a number line mobile out of the index cards the children created at the stations. Attach the number at the top, then hang all the arrangements of that number under it connected by yarn.
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