Grade 1 Lessons & Activities

Numer Sense


Fall Walk


Find out what math your students know by asking the question, "What math can you find in these leaves? after using rich literacy practices while reading the book, Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow (or another leaf book) and by collecting leaves on a walk. An open-ended question lets our students show what they know in a creative, respectful manner.  They will surprise you!  This soft assessment helps to inform our instruction; building on what individual students know and next steps.


 Leaf Assessment and Lesson Ideas  

Concrete Number Representations Mat 

Thanks to Devon DePutter for suggesting this one!  On the front, orange side, the chosen number can be represented concretely and on the back, yellow side, concrete, pictorial or symbolic representations can be shown.  These mats can be used to practice the counting principles, number arrangements, quantities, one-to-one correspondance and representations.  These can be ordered through the printshop or printed off on legal-sized paper.

VC PLOs A1, A2, A3, A4, A5

 2-sided mat in English

Student sample

2-sided mat in French


12 Ways to Get to 11 - Represent and describe numbers to 20 in this open ended, partitioning and equation writing lesson, based on the picture book by Eve Merriam.

B.C. PLOs A1, A3 and A4


Student Sheet


French Versions

Trois problèmes


150 Chart - Many of our students are unsure of what comes after 100.  In fact, a common misunderstanding is that 200 comes after 109.  We have developed this 150 chart to help address this issue and expose children to numbers beyond 100.  The print shop can provide you with laminate desk versions.

 150 Chart

French version

Counting Activities - Ladybug Math

We have been having fun with ladybug math activities in some of the kindergarten and grade one classes in our district.  A variety of resources found on the internet, especially MATHWIRE has been a source for lesson ideas.  The Ladybug Mat used with black stones as dots, books (Ten Little Ladybugs by M. Gerth), puppets, dominoes, dice and the Magnetic Ladybug we purchased through Spectrum have provided us with opportunities for counting, trusting the count, subtizing and more.  Thanks to Sue for extending the activities with her grade 1 and 2 students with Ways to Show - also attached.

B.C. PLO A1 to A4


How to use the Magnetic Ladybug

Ladybug Mats

Ladybug Fly Home! Game

Ladybug maze

Ways to Show

Ways to Show B



Counting and Comparing

Snowman Math - I modeled these games and activities based on my work with Ladybug Math.  I used the book, The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler as a launch to some of the subitizing, counting and partitioning activities I did with Airport's grade 1 and 2 class. 

When working on comparing numbers - children drew three cards and 'built' three different snowman out of the indicated number of 'unifix cubes'.  Then then put their snowmen in order from smallest to largest and told a friend about how their snowmen compared.  I have attached a sheet the could be used as a summative piece - after LOTS of hands on practice.

BC PLO's A2, A3, A4, A5


Snowman Mat

Race to Build the Snowman Game

Compare the Snowmen

See full size image

Counting Crocodiles - Children are delighted to explore problem solving with the tricky monkey in this book by Judy Sierra.

B.C. PLOs A1 to A4



Lots of Spots - Students have fun with the spotted animals in the book and choose lower numbers of spots to count and add together to create a teen number to represent.  Students use the Teen Number Mat to display their representations.



Teen number relations mat

Student work example

French version


La Journée de 100  Voici des idées pour représenter 100.  N'oubliez pas de continuer avec 101 après!!!

 Tapis de 100

Autres activités


Parking Lot Stories


This series of lessons provides an example of how to playfully connect counting, partitioning, adding, subtracting, equality within the context of parking lot number stories.  Suggestions about the gradual release of responsibility and ways to differentiate are also included.  This is also a kit that can be ordered from the LRC. (KT513 PLA)



 Teacher Information

10 frames (pictorial/ concrete), 20 and 100 frames

Equality balance board

Part/Part/ Whole board

Vehicle images


Equal Shmequal - Explore equality with the concepts covered in this book by Virginia Kroll.

B.C. PLOs A4, A5, A7 and 9 plus B3 and B4

Link to a Smart Board activity

Number line Activity - Thanks Andrea for finding this one!


Student Journal

Student Sheet

Balance Board

Animal Cards

French Versions




One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab - This engaging counting by 'feet' book written by April Sayre, gives children lots of prediction opportunities.

B.C. PLOs A1, A2 and A4

Sue Bannister was getting ready to do One is a snail, Ten a crab (her all time favorite math story) with her class and decided to rebuild the animal cards. She has found that with younger kids that she wanted them to be able to quickly find the animal they needed such all the crabs,so she built the following pages so she could colour code the animals. on card stock.  She included a little legend so each child now has their own ziploc pack. She hopes it'll last for a few years and plans to 'squeeze out' every possible learning experience she can with resource!!  (Thanks Sue for sharing!) Legend, snail, feet, dog, insect, spider and crab cards.


Student Sheet

Animal Cards 1

Animal Cards 2

Poster 1

Poster 2

French Versions


Student Sheet


Poster 2

Mes Nombres en trois manières!

Represent numbers numbers in three different ways - 5 frame/10 frame, dots and digits.  Thanks to Carol Saundry for this, taken from her site:  Mathematical Thinking.

B.C. PLO A1, A2 and A4

Mes Nombres en trois manières! - 5 frame

Mes Nombres en trois manières! - 10




Number Relationship Mats

We adapted these mats from an outstanding Ontario site called Teach Math

Thanks to K. Leith, E. Goodger and M. Brucker for their work on the French versions of this!





Most complete





Most Complete

Part Part Whole Thinking

Here is a clear explanation about Part Part Whole Thinking and its importance.  A child who can partition a number is one who is well positioned to understand place value.

The description and activities come from TeachMath.  The Part Part Whole cards are made in our print shop if you would like to order a set printed on bright manilla tag.  See the number operations section below for cards that relate to the story problem activities.

B.C. PLO A2 and A4

Part Part Whole Exploration

Cards 4 to 9

Cards 10 to 20

Part Part Whole Game - Peek-a-Boo Pennies

Thanks Andrea for sharing this game with me.  Andrea's grade one students really enjoyed this game.  You could use dice or number cards. It can easily be extended to include nickels and dimes for skip counting totals.

B.C. PLO:  A4 or A1 with extension

Peek a Boo Pennies

 Playful Farm Partitioning

Why not count and partition farm animals?  These partitioning cards and partitioning mats allow students to use concrete materials, Base 10 frames, numbers and symbols to count and partition.  Two kits containing these materials, a barn, animals and math picture album books can also be ordered from the LRC.




 Farm partitioning cards

Farm paritioning mats

French Version


Patterns and Relations

Equal Shmequal - Explore equality with the concepts covered in this book by Virginia Kroll.

B.C. PLOs A4, A5, A7 and 9 plus B3 and B4

Link to a Smart Board activity


Student Journal

Student Sheet

Balance Board

Animal Cards

Patterns  - Follow this link to an excellent math site called Math Wire.  Creators of the site have summarized a series of lessons focusing on Increasing or 'Growth Patterns', using manipulatives and leading to input/output tables.  Thanks Jocelyn for finding this one for us. 

B.C. PLOs B1 and B2

 Growth Patterns Lessons





Shape and Space





This book by Miller and Goodman is a great context for mathematical shape and space concepts, as well as a fantastic connection to number sense, patterns, play-based learning and art!


 Lesson Ideas