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Ants on a Number Line: Math - Grade K

ants number line

Subject: Math

Grade: Kindergarten

Lesson Objective: Learn how to count sequentially on a number line from any given number.

Common Core Standard: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2: Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).


  • Tape 
  • Magnets
  • Scissors
  • Number Line Worksheet (includes ant(s) and number line)
  • Crayons
  • Popsicle sticks (optional)
  • Glue (Optional)



  • Before class begins, write in even increments, numbers 1-10 on the sheet of paper, or use the ant-themed Number Line Worksheet included with this lesson. This is your number line. Tape the paper horizontally on your whiteboard.
  • Cut out the cartoon ant from page 2 to act as a counter. Glue your magnet to the ant cut out, so it stays in place on the whiteboard.
  • Place crayons and a blank piece of paper on each desk for the kids to make their own number line later in the lesson. You can also make copies of the ants on page 3. You can cut out the ants and let the kids tape or glue them to popsicle sticks. This will give them their own ant counter to use as well. 


  • Sometimes when we learn how to do something we need a visual, something that can help us see what we are doing. Today, we are going to learn about a number line, which is a visual that helps us count.



  • A number line shows numbers in order. (Point to the number line on the board.)
  • This is a number line. See how I’ve written the numbers in order? Count with me. (With your students, slowly count the numbers 1 to 10 and point to each one.)
  • We don’t always have to start counting on a number line from the number 1, though. We can start anywhere! A number line helps us figure out how to do this. Let’s count from 3 all the way up to 10. (Point to the number 3 and count up to 10 with your class.)
  • You can also count down using a number line. Sometimes we can forget which number comes before another one, so seeing the numbers can help us out. Using a number line can help us memorize or remember without looking at something, our numbers. Let’s count down from the number 6. (Point to the number 6 and count down.)
  • We can also count spaces using a number line. How many spaces on the number line do we need to count to go from 3 to 8? (Count the number of spaces out loud.)
  • Are there any questions so far? (Give time to answer questions.)
  • Now that we understand how we can use number lines let’s play a game. On the piece of paper in front of you, copy the number line you see on the board. (Survey the class to make sure students are writing numbers in sequence. Help as needed. Go to the front of the class and get ready with your ant.)
  • Now it’s time to play our game. This is Mr. Ant. He needs to move from number 1 all the way to number 10. Can you guess what’s at the end of the number line? (Give students a chance to guess.)
  • A picnic, of course! And we are going to help him get there. We are going to take turns. One person will move Mr. Ant to a number on our number line. Then you have to tell them how many spaces they need to move him to reach the picnic. Let’s practice. (Move Mr. Ant to number 5.)
  • I moved Mr. Ant to number 5. Can someone tell me how many spaces I need to move him to reach number 10? (Wait for an answer. If no one answers, solve the problem for them.)
  • If you aren’t sure, use the number line to count. Let’s count together. (With the class, count how many spaces it takes to get from 5 to 10.)
  • Ready? Let’s start. (Give everyone a chance to move Mr. Ant to a number.)



  • How can a number line help us count numbers? (Wait for answers.)
  • Be sure to tell your parents what you learned about number lines today. Take home your number line and show them how you can count from any number using one.


Written by Amelia Ellis

Education World Contributor

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