Out Teach
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Lower Primary
  • Counting
  • Math
  • Numbers and Operations in Base 10
  • Out Teach
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
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    Education Standards

    Counting with Leaves -- Out Teach

    Counting with Leaves -- Out Teach


    Students will practice counting up to 20 in a very fun and exciting way. The lesson includes a hands-on component where students will be asked to collect leaves and use them as manipulatives. This lesson is great for kindergarten through first grade.

    Background for Teachers:

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    Kindergarten students need to learn important concepts related to numbers, including basic counting skills. Use this lesson plan to reinforce and build skills related to counting.

    Key Vocabulary:

    • How many

    • Count

    • Manipulatives

    Guiding Question:

    What can we learn outside about numbers?


    Read the poem "In the Apple Tree" - Unknown author:

    Away up high in an apple tree Two red apples smiled at me I shook that tree as hard as I could Down came the apples and m-m-m-m they were good.

    Ask: How many apples were on the tree?

    Tell students they'll be learning about numbers and practicing counting using leaves that they'll collect from the outdoor classroom.


    Give students time to collect leaves into a bag.


    Management Note: Activity will work best if students collect leaves that are small � medium in size (large enough they can manipulate them with their hands, but small enough that that they can fit several onto their journal).

    While students are collecting their leaves, the teacher will collect a supply of unique leaves in size and shape.

    The teacher can work in with students in small groups for those who need extra assistance. Students who are reluctant to participate can work with a partner.

    Ensure students understand the boundaries of the area they are exploring, review expectations and make sure they listen for the signal to return to the gathering space.


    Gather students together in a circle around a sheet of chart paper or whiteboard.

    Share with students that the leaves they collected are going to be their manipulatives today.

    Show students the collection of leaves and count out 9. Ask students to share how many were counted and then have them count out the same amount with their own leaves.

    Trace 9 leaves on the chart paper and label it as 9.

    Invite students to add three more leaves from their bag to the nine they've already pulled out. How many leaves do they have now?

    Label 12 leaves on the chart paper.

    Repeat this process for different numbers.

    Record on chart paper while students manipulate their own leaves from their bag of leaves.

    Bring this chart paper indoors to hang on the wall for future reference.


    • What happens when you add more leaves?


    Ask every child to write a number in his/her journal. They should then go collect that number of leaves and tape them into their journal next to the number.


    Review the lesson with students.

    Ask: what did we learn about numbers today?