K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learn more

Related pages

  • Counting fun: This is a lesson on counting that takes 30 minutes. It is a good whole group activity for beginning counting, (forwards and backwards), and numeral recognition 1-10 to use early in the year. It is also good for math in literature. The activity can be extended as a counting game to use individually or small group during work stations.
  • Bugs, bugs, bugs: This lesson integrates writing and the study of insects by having the students create a book following the pattern of How Many Bugs in a Box? by David A. Carter.
  • Bunny addition: This lesson integrates language arts, music, and math. The children will listen to the story Count on Bunnies. They will be given the opportunity to act out the story and solve bunny equations. After listening to the song "Five Young Rabbits," the children will take turns being rabbits and pantomiming the actions as the class sings. The children will combine the rabbits at the end of each verse to see how many rabbits have been added. Then they will work in pairs to create their own rabbit equations.

Related topics


Please read our disclaimer for lesson plans.


The text of this page is copyright ©2008. See terms of use. Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • identify instances when ordinal numbers are used.
  • recall and match colors using ordinal numbers.
  • listen and use their knowledge of colors, shapes and ordinal numbers to correctly complete the assessment sheet.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

40 minutes


  • Ten 9″x12″ sheets of black construction paper. Each sheet has a 6″x9″ rectangle of another color of construction paper glued in the center of it (two each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue). Laminate for stability.
  • Henry the Fourth by Stuart J. Murphy


Students will need to know basic colors.

Students will need to know basic shapes: circle, triangle and rectangle.


  1. Read Henry the Fourth to the students. Discuss the use of ordinal numbers in the book and how counting with ordinal numbers differs from “regular” counting. Ask for other examples of when we count using the words, “first, second, third,” etc. (Such as what grade someone is in at school.)
  2. Show the students the Memory Game cards (on the black construction paper). Have them identify the colors on each of the cards and discuss how there are two matching cards of each color.
  3. Choose 10 students to line up in the front of the room. Give each of these children one of the Memory Game cards. They should hold the card against their chest so that no one can see the color on their card.
  4. The teacher should go down the row of students and have the class “count” with her the order of the standing students; i.e. “Mary is first, Johnny is second, Susie is third”, etc.
  5. Call on one student in the “audience” to try and make a match. They do this by calling out the ordinal number position of the student who they want to turn their card. Example: The second person and the sixth person. The students cannot call them by name, they must use the ordinal number words.
  6. The students whose numbers are called turn their cards around to the “audience.” If it is a match, then those two students sit down right where they are in line so that they maintain the ordinal positions of everyone. If it is not a match, then those students turn their cards back around and someone else in the “audience” tries to make a match. Continue until all matches have been made.
  7. Play again so that every student has the opportunity to hold a Memory Game card.


The students sit at their seats and are given one of the assessment sheets. They will need crayons to complete the assessment. Tell the students that they will need to listen carefully to the directions in order to complete their sheet correctly.

Each row of shapes has a different set of directions using ordinal numbers, colors and shapes. (See teacher instruction sheet.)

Completed assessment sheets should be collected and checked to insure understanding.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • Counting & Cardinality
          • K.CC.4Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality. When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)


  • Goal 1: Number and Operations - The learner will recognize, model, and write whole numbers through 30.
    • Objective 1.01: Develop number sense for whole numbers through 30.
      • Connect model, number word (orally), and number, using a variety of representations.
      • Count objects in a set.
      • Read and write numerals.
      • Compare and order sets and numbers.
      • Use ordinals (1st-10th).
      • Estimate quantities fewer than or equal to 10.
      • Recognize equivalence in sets and numbers 1-10.