This activity for young primary pupils is designed to work on basic numeracy skills whilst communicating in English.

Chris Baldwin



  • basic addition and subtraction


  • Lexis – animals and numbers
  • Grammar – 'have got' in questions and positive sentences
  • Skills – all four skills are developed in this activity


  • Get a set of toy animals with several of each animal.
  • Make one copy of the worksheet for each pupil.
  • You may need to review spelling of number words before this lesson.


  1. Show pupils the animals one at a time and ask what animal it is in English.
  2. Put several animals together and ask pupils how many animals there are.
  3. Make groups of animals (e.g. three pigs and four cows) and ask how many of each there are and how many animals there are in total. (In stages 2 and 3 model the language used on the worksheet – e.g. 'How many pigs have I got?')
  4. Write your last example on the board and ask a pupil to come and write the answer as a figure and as a word.
  5. Give out the worksheet and let pupils work on the questions individually. Monitor and help where needed. Fast finishers can draw the correct number of the relevant animals to illustrate the answer.
  6. Check orally with the class.

Pupils can now go on to write their own questions and ask their classmates orally.



There are two points that this teaching material has done well in practice:
1. Helping children understand the differences between how many animals and how many types of animals. This is a very important cognitive identification in children's growth. This procedure contents three steps in terms of the numeracy skills - distinguishing the imagery patterns in thinking, attributing them to different categories of definitions; counting them into the increasing number and under different types of animals.

2.The topic is about counting animals, which is very suitable to be practiced in Northwest of China or other places in the worlds, of which the climate is temperate livestock zone.

3. In TESL's views, the very important point, when following it to organize our practical activity, are:

(1) How many key words in English we need to pronounce and show in front of the children whose English is very limited, and children can understand English you are using.;

(2) How many Children's mother tongues we can use to explain what are the meanings, as the supplements. (this point depended on Children's bilingually cognitive growth and English Level)

3. There is a developing zone existing for teachers' self-organization of learning materials through replacing the animals with much more species. This point can enrich children's store of the knowledge of the animals and their relevant situation currently.

3. All in all, teachers' bilingual teaching arts somehow determined children's learning effectiveness. we can make some extra-development after fulfilling the requirements of this course

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