Adding Using Objects & Drawings


Our Adding Using Objects & Drawings lesson plan teaches students how to add whole numbers using objects and drawings. They will also learn some math symbols.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to model addition sentence using students as human manipulatives.

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What our Adding Using Objects & Drawings lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Adding Using Objects & Drawings helps students understand various vocabulary related to addition, as well as the symbols plus (+) sign and equals (=) sign. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to add whole numbers using objects and drawings. This lesson is for students in 1st grade and 2nd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the blue box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies you will need for this lesson are scissors and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can copy the trees and birds for the activity, gather the supplies, and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One optional interactive addition to this lesson is to model addition sentence using students as human manipulatives. You can also use birthday candles on cake as an additional example problem for students to solve. Students can also use other objects as manipulatives, like pennies, blocks, counters, or candy. If you have more advanced students, you can let them create their own addition stories for the activity. Finally, during the activity, you can add in more birds for higher level questions.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Adding Using Objects and Drawings

The Adding Using Objects & Drawings lesson plan includes three pages of content. The lesson begins with an example problem: you have two fish in a bowl and put one more fish in the same bowl. How many fish do you have? To solve this problem, we have to use an operation (a way to solve a math problem). We have four operations in math: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. In order to find the total number of fish, we have to use addition. We know this because of the word total. Some other words that indicate addition are total, altogether, sum, plus, and both.

To find the total amount of fish, we have to add together the number of fish already in the bowl plus the number of new fish added to the bowl. When adding, you are putting two groups of numbers together. The new number you get is called the sum or answer.

When you see a plus sign, that means you must add. When you see an equal sign, that means the sum comes after it. The example in the lesson is shown with pictures, but we can also use numbers to write the problem. In this case, that equation would be 2 + 1 = 3. There are three fish total.

The lesson then includes another example using Legos. If you have three Lego people and your friend has four, how many do you have total? What is the sum? You can count the total number by looking at the pictures, or you can create an equation. 3 + 4 = 7, so there are 7 Lego people in total!


The Adding Using Objects & Drawings lesson plan includes four worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, a homework assignment, and a quiz. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity worksheet, students will listen while the teacher tells them a story. They will write down the addition problem on their paper and with their bird tree. For additional instructions, see the Classroom Procedure page.


The practice worksheet asks students to add the objects shown on the worksheet together. There are seven problems in total.


For the homework assignment, students will draw pictures based on the provided equations and then add the objects together to find the sum.


This lesson includes a quiz that you can use to test your students’ knowledge and understanding of the lesson material. Students will add the objects together to find the sum for three addition problems.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet, the homework assignment, and the quiz. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.Math.Content.K.OA.A.1, LB.Math.Content.K.OA.A.2, LB.Math.Content.K.OA.A.3, LB.Math.Content.1.OA.A.1

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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