Beacon Lesson Plan Library
The Fish Game
Bay District Schools
Students demonstrate the knowledge of addition and subtraction using edible manipulatives.
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.
-Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers (each child needs 15)
1. Put goldfish crackers in cups. (about 15 in each cup per student)
1. Tell students: Today you are going to hear a story about a gray whale named Gilbert. He was a very special little whale who loved to eat fish. Now Gilbert was growing and he swam around all day gobbling up all the fish he could find because he was so hungry. In this story, you are going to play the part of Gilbert the whale. Who is the whale?
2. Tell students: This is your ocean. Open your hand with the palm up. Show me your ocean. (The children open their hands with their palm up.) Pass out cups with goldfish crackers in them.
3. One bright sunny day Gilbert the whale was swimming around when he saw two fish swimming near him. Show me two fish in your ocean. (Each student takes two fish out of his cup and places them in his hand, “the ocean”).
4. Continue: “Boy am I hungry,” said Gilbert and he gobbled up one of the fish. (Each student eats one of the fish from the ocean.) And that left how many fish?
5. Continue: Soon two other fish came swimming along. (Each student adds two more fish to the ocean.) How many fish are in the ocean now?
6. Continue: It didn’t take long for Gilbert to see those three fish. He swam by and gobbled up two of those fish. (Each child eats two fish.) How many fish are in the ocean now. That left how many?
7. Continue: Gilbert continues to swim along when he spies three more fish. How many are in the ocean? What are we doing here? It was getting close to lunch, so he swam over and ate two of those fish and that left how many?
8. Continue: In a little while three more fish come to join the two that were left. That made…yes, five fish. Well, that whale was still hungry and decided to eat a snack of four fish. That left how many?
9. Continue to add fish to the ocean and subtract fish until all the crackers are eaten. This game should be played over and over again to reinforce addition means to add to and subtraction means to take away. The teacher should look for students to demonstrate addition (adding to the ocean when stated in the lesson) and subtraction (taking away when Gilbert eats them as stated in the lesson) as you formatively assess the students during the lesson.
10. Encourage students to discuss this activity.
Formatively assess the student’s ability to: demonstrate knowledge of the meaning of addition (putting together, increasing) and subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference) using manipulatives, drawings, symbols, and story problems. This will be done when adding fish to the ocean is stated in the lesson and also when the whale eats the fish in the story lesson.
An extension to the lesson would be to take it to the next step and write the number symbols on the board as the students work through the story to show the connection between the word/ symbol relationship.