“Addition is a math operation that combines numbers or amounts together.” — Ms Twinkle
Addition is the basis for many of the mathematics concepts your children will learn in school and is very useful in life! Yet, as we know it, math can be dreary and difficult to grasp for young children. So how do we make math fun? That’s what we’re tackling in this fun little lesson plan that you can try with your classes, or with your kids at home!
Activity 1: Twinkle Trails Episode 18 — The Addition Swamp
What better way to introduce Addition to the kids than with a classic Ms Twinkle musical number? In this lesson, she has invited her friend, the Addigator, to help the class navigate the swampy waters of Addition!
- The plus (+) sign is used to add numbers or amounts together.
For example, 1 + 1 = 2
- When you add, the answer is larger than the numbers you started with.
- There are more ways than one to add up to the same result.
For example, consider (1 + 5 = 6 ) , ( 2 + 4 = 6 ) , and ( 3 + 3 = 6 ). All the equations add up to the answer 6 even though they begin with different numbers!
In the video, the Addigator suggested that there is more than one way to add up to the answers 4 and 5.
Can you find out what the different ways are? (Answers at the bottom!)
Activity 2: Puzzle Time!
Who says math can’t be fun? Not your preschooler, with these puzzles, that’s for sure! Combine simple Addition problems and fun brainteasers for the perfect mathematical recipe! Delight curious little minds with games that use Addition as a tool for them to get to rewarding conclusions — like the solution to a riddle!
Here is an example of a game that you can easily recreate with a simple riddle and some Addition problems:
Match the following answers to their letters found in the table to solve the riddle!
- 1 + 1 = ?
- 8 + 7 = ?
- 10 + 10 = ?
- 8 + 12 = ?
- 4 + 8 = ?
- 2 + 3 = ?
What has a neck but no head?
Answer: _ _ _ _ _ _
Answers to Mini Task:
( 1 + 3 = 4 ) , ( 2 + 2 = 4 )
( 1 + 4 = 5 ) , ( 2 + 3 = 5 )
Find more amusing riddles here and don’t hesitate to put your own spin on the game!
A math challenge in which there’s an exciting goal to achieve is sure to encourage children to practice their Addition without thinking of it as a chore. There are plenty of other mini games online that are sure to thrill your little mathematicians!
So we took the liberty of listing a few of our personal favourites:
Activity 3: Math, Camera, Action!
Get the kids up on their feet and moving! Add a dazzle in learning to add by dramatising your lessons! Invite the children to imagine themselves in a different world. Tell a story and take an imaginary trip to new lands with your children. Travel to the depths of the Amazon jungle or fly off to outer space to count the stars! Along the way, you will face meteors, or giant snakes that will try to hinder your journey. Make it yours and your children’s mission to defeat them and carry on — using the power of Addition!
When you encounter a flaming meteor headed straight towards your spaceship, what will you do? What will you do?
To avoid the meteor, you have to turn your spaceship to the right and fly for 8 kilometers, then turn to the left and fly for 4 kilometers. How many kilometers will you have to travel in total to save everyone from the meteor?
Take this a step further, and encourage your children to take normal objects and form tools out of them for their adventure. Will your child take a ruler and turn it into his sword? Will he need a clipboard for cover when rain pours in the Amazon? Let him figure it out! How many different uses for a pencil can your child think of if that is the only tool he is given to survive in the Amazon?
Beyond sprucing up his Addition skills, this exercise encourages abstract thinking. Abstract thinking is the habit of finding unconventional functions for everyday object. A concrete thinker would look at a bucket and think of only using it for its intended use — filling it up with sand or water. However, an abstract thinker will look at the same bucket and venture to use it as a hat, a cover, and many more!
Activity 4: Fun in the Sun!
Manipulatives are objects and visuals that children can physically handle in real life. The use of manipulatives in the classroom is tied in with sensory play, through which children have the opportunity to explore and understand new concepts through a practice that is familiar to them, i.e. playing.
In addition to the ability of manipulatives to aid directly in the cognitive process, manipulatives have the additional advantage of engaging students and increasing both interest in and enjoyment of mathematics.
(Sutton & Krueger, 2002)
I suggest you let the children themselves become the manipulatives! Create a life sized game of ‘Snakes N Ladders’ using chalk on pavement, in which you and your children will be the life sized players! While we’re in the business of life-size-ing everything, get crafty with your kids and make 2 giant dice out of paper!
Have the kids add up the numbers on the dice to progress in the game. First to the end of the board wins…perhaps, an ice cream to cool off after the game?
Actively adding up dice, or counting how many steps he needs to win will hone your child’s ability to perform mental sums, along with learning that Addition is a useful tool in activities that are important to him — which for now is play time. What a way to check math practice, and family bonding time off the list, eh? Two birds in one stone, indeed!
Who knew that math could be this fun, right? Enjoy the merits of your child’s new-found addition skills and stay tuned for the next Twinkle Trails Mini Lesson Plan!