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Ladybug Math

Teacher Lesson


  • Mathematics: Applied Math, Arithmetic



Brief Description

This hands-on activity involves students in solving simple addition problems.


Students Students

  • count the number of spots on each ladybug wing.
  • add to find the total number of spots on the ladybugs.


addition, count, ladybug, solve

Materials Needed

  • black and red construction paper (precut, or enough to make one large red circle and many small black circles for each student)
  • ladybug poem or story problem printed for each student
  • glue, scissors, crayons, pencils

Lesson Plan

Hand out and read the poem or story problem about ladybugs:
Ladybugs come in every shape and size.
Some are even old and wise.
My little ladybug is different from the rest.
Now can you pass the test?
He has ___ spots on his right wing
and ___ spots on his left wing.
That's all I saw.
How many spots are in all?

Hand out the ladybug pieces. Students use a large red circle as the body of a ladybug, one black circle as the head, and other black circles as the ladybug's spots. Students will draw on their ladybugs (if not pre-drawn) a black line to bisect the ladybug's body into two equal sections (left and right) that are the ladybug's wings.

Next, students glue black circle heads on top of the red circles. Then they add spots to each wing and glue them in place.

Finally, students fill in the correct numbers on the work sheet so that the numbers in the story problem correlate to the spots on their ladybugs. Then they can glue the ladybugs and the story problems to a large piece of construction paper. Instruct students to write the total number of spots under their ladybugs. Glue the ladybugs so that they may be lifted and the answer revealed.

Extension Activities

  • Organize students into small groups so they can quiz one another.
  • Post ten ladybugs on a bulletin board. Place a number (1, 2, 3, and so on to 10) next to each ladybug. Turn the bulletin board into a math center. Have each student number a paper from 1 to 10. Next to each number on the paper, the students should write the math problem (for example, 4 + 3 = 7) that each bug represents.
  • Hang the projects in the hallway for all to enjoy.


Evaluate students on the correctness of their ladybug story problems.

Submitted By

Krista Weiss, Gettysburg Elementary School, Gettysburg, Ohio

Originally published 03/22/2002
Updated 03/18/2007

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