Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Adding Jumping Lima Beans

Cynthia Santana
Orange County Schools


This activity is for a first grade class. It allows the students to relate to a real world experience, as they count off with real lima beans at the beginning of the lesson. This lesson is completely hands on, as students use their own plastic lima beans to count and add. How do we add numbers? How do we know when we're supposed to add? Students will be able to add and to recognize the symbol of operation. Note: This activity consists of using manipulatives for addition only.


The student demonstrates knowledge of the meaning of addition (putting together, increasing) and subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference) using manipulatives, drawings, symbols, and story problems.


-100 real lima beans
-4 Table baskets for materials (1 basket per table)
-8 Plastic bags for lima beans (1 baggie for each pair of students)
-8 Work mats (1 work mat for each pair of students)
-1 Marker for the teacher
-A hand-written addition symbol (+) on construction paper
-8 (1-10) spinners (1 for each pair of students)
-Pencils for students
-Paper for students
-Worksheets for students (See associated file)


1. Acquire a large jar.
2. Purchase a bag of real lima beans.
3. Write with a marker on construction paper the addition (+) symbol, and
make into a mini-poster to hold up in class and model.
4. Each table has four students in pairs. Place a basket on each table
consisting of two sets of mats, 1-10 spinners, and plastic lima beans in small plastic bags.
5. Gather pencils and papers for students.
6. Make copies of Adding With Pictures for students. (See associated file.)


1. Students gather around the empty jar on the floor.

2. Students count off the lima beans going into the jar as the teacher drops them into the large jar.

3. Students count off 1-100 as a warm up.

4. Students transition from the floor back to their tables as their cooperative group number is called.

5. Teacher shows the hand written addition symbol (+) made on construction paper and explains that it is the operation used for adding.

6. Students take their plastic lima bean baggies and 1-10 spinners from their baskets.

7. One partner will spin once and take that amount of lima beans and place it on their mats.

8. Record the number on their papers.

9. The second partner will spin for a second number to complete the number sentence.

10. Record the second number on their papers.

11. The second partner will get that amount of lima beans and place it on their mat.

12. Students will work together to write out their number sentence and answers on their papers by counting and combining their lima beans.

13. Teacher makes assessment by observing student work as they cooperatively work together.

14. In completing the lesson, students work on their assessment worksheet:
Adding with Pictures. (See associated file.)


Students' knowledge of subject will be formatively assessed as they are observed counting and adding the addition problems on the worksheet: Adding with Pictures. Students will recognize the correct symbol to use when adding. The addition number sentences on the worksheet will ask for students to draw their own happy faces or pictures to demonstrate that they are adding.

These are the three assessment criteria:
1. Mastered- Student will be able to get 80-90 percent correct on operations distinction.
2. Developing skill- Student will be able to get 65-70 percent correct on counting, adding.
3. Not mastered- Student will not be able to exceed 65 percent of the problems correct or be able to count and add.


Teacher will call out an addition number sentence, and students will show that amount on their mats with the cubes. Students will add with multilink cubes and use the same spinners used in the previous lessons to get a feel of using different tools for the same purpose of adding.

Attached Files

Adding with Pictures Worksheet.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.