Step 1: Gather materials.
- Counting cookies (These items are in the math kits and can also be made at home with construction paper and an empty container for the cookie jar)
- Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-up by Robert Sabuda (or another suitable book)
Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.
Step 2: Introduce activity.
- Read: Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-up by Robert Sabuda. As you read, be sure to model/demonstrate one-to-one correspondence when counting cookies to either introduce or reinforce this concept.
- Show the children the jar with the cookie counters.
- Explain that these cookies are not for eating, but for playing.
- Show the children the two types of cookies in the jar: cookies with numerals and cookies with chips.
- Hold up each cookie with a numeral on it and ask different children what number the numeral represents.
- Hold up each cookie with chips on it and ask different children to count the number of chips. Make sure the children are using one-to-one correspondence as they count out loud.
- Say: “Some of the cookies in the jar have numerals written on them and some have chips. We are going to count the “chips” on a cookie and see if there is a cookie with a numeral on it that matches the number of chips on the cookie.”
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Place all of the cookies with chips in the cookie jar.
- Choose one child to come up and pick a cookie out of the jar.
- Ask the child to count the number of chips on the cookie that the child picked.
- Choose a second child to come and identify the cookie with the correct numeral on it (the one that matches the number of chips).
- Ask the group if these two children have matching cookies (the number of chips on one cookie matches the numeral on the other cookie).
- Continue choosing children to take turns choosing a cookie, counting the number of chips and identifying the matching numeral cookie until all of the cookies have been selected from the jar.
- Extend the children’s vocabulary by asking them to compare two cookies with chips (or with numerals) and asking: “Which cookie has more chips? Which cookie has fewer chips?”
- Additional ideas for extensions are:
- Create a memory game by flipping the cookies over so that the chips or numbers are hidden. Have a child take a turn flipping over two cookies. If the cookies have the same amount of chips as the number cookie, then the child can keep the cookies.
- Hold the cookies with the numbers on them and lay out the cookies with the chips. Pick a number and have the child find the cookie with the matching number of chips.
Step 4: Vocabulary.
- More: A value that is higher or greater in number (e.g.,”Seven chips is more than five chips.”)
- Fewer/Less: A value that is smaller in number (e.g.,”The cookie with seven chips has fewer chips than the cookie with nine chips.”)
- Numeral: The symbol used to represent a number or “how many” (e.g. “The numeral 2 represents the number of eyes that I have.”)
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Only want to count the cookies and not the chips on the cookies
- Want to place other items in the cookie jar
- Have difficulty sharing the cookie jar
Child care providers may:
- Put different amounts of cookies in the jar and count them
- Provide different items to place in the cookie jar for the children to count
- Set a timer
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Want to do the activity with a friend
- Want to write the numerals
- Want to call the numerals numbers
Child care providers may:
- Have each child take a turn taking a cookie out of the jar and deciding if the chosen cookies make a match
- Provide writing tools and paper
- Reinforce vocabulary through their own use of the word numeral
- Who Took the Cookie From the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass and Philemon Sturges (New York: Scholastic, 2000)
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff (New York: Harper Collins, 1995)
Music and Movement
- Play “Who Stole the Cookie?” (song lyrics, teaching tips, printables and activities)
- Play “Hot Cookie.” Use a pretend object that represents a cookie. Have the children sit in a circle and pass the cookie around as music plays. When the music stops, the child with the cookie gets to do a trick for the others (hop on one foot, roll on the floor, jump, etc.)
- Give each child a card with a number on it and tell the children to find outdoor objects that match the number on his/her card. For example, two rocks, five sticks, etc.
- Tell the children to cover their eyes. Hide the cookies. Make sure that you pick places that are safe for the children to look. When all of the cookies have been hidden, the children can search for the cookies and bring them to a central spot. Once the cookies have been found, put the cookies together. If a cookie does not have a match, then the children need to find it.
- Who Stole the Cookie? (song lyrics, teaching tips, printables and activities)
- Which plate has more cookies? For each problem on this math worksheet, kids count the cookies on two plates and then use the less-than symbol or the greater-than symbol to compare the number of cookies on the two plates.
- Cookie Sheet Math (print and make on your own)