Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Bears Odd Bears Even

Karen Beck
Bay District Schools


Students use counters and cubes to classify and model numbers as even or odd.


The student classifies and models numbers as even or odd.


-Ziefert, Harriet. Bears Odd Bears Even. New York, New York: The Penguin Group, 1997.
-Teddy Bear counters
-Paper bags
-Shoe box lid, rubber band, and cubes for the daily calendar activity -Odd or Even Box-


1. Read and have available the book Bears Odd Bears Even by Harriet Ziefert.
2. Prepare Teddy Bear counters in paper bags for each pair.
3. Prepare -Odd or Even Box- for daily calendar activity (see Extensions)


*Note: Please see Extensions for ideas on daily odd or even practice.

1. Read and discuss the story, Bears Odd Bears Even by Harriet Ziefert. Ask, -Why is a number even or odd?- Responses may include that an even number can be paired and an odd number cannot be paired (or does not have a partner.)

2. During whole group instruction, review how even numbers can be grouped in pairs with none left over, while odd numbers always have one extra (odd man out!)

3. Model how to play the game -Bears Odd Bears Even. - Have one child reach into the paper bag and take out a handful of Teddy Bear counters. Have another child put the counters into pairs. Together, the class determines if the number of counters they have is odd or even.

4. In pairs, the students play the game -Bears Odd Bears Even.-

5. Circulate and assist pairs while playing the game.


Daily informal assessments ARE gathered during calendar activities when using the -Odd or Even Box- (see Extensions). To assess mastery of concept, individually interview each child using cubes. Have the student take a number of cubes and decide whether the number is even or odd. The student should be able to answer the following questions: How can you tell if the number of cubes is even? How can you tell if the number of cubes is odd?


EXTENSIONS: During daily 'Math Their Way' calendar activities, students use the -Odd or Even Box- which contains cubes and is made from a shoe box lid. (A rubber band is placed around the box to hold in the cubes.) Each day a cube is added for the days of the month. The cubes are placed in pairs to help show which numbers are even and odd. The number is written above each cube as it is added. The students understand that when the cube has a partner it is an even number, but when it does not have a partner it is an odd number. The color of the cubes is changed each ten days to show groups of ten. This activity is continued until the end of the month, and then begins anew the next month.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.