Lesson Plan: Dinosaur Math

a lesson plan for all learners, with technology options

Grade level(s): K-1

Subject(s): Math

National Standards:
from NCTM Standards

Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another
Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates


Dinosaur math is to teach simple addition equations.  This teaches children what it means to add numbers.  It provides entertaining visuals, the actual equations and takes them step by step through the process of adding two numbers.  Through this process, special education students are given the tools to help assist them in better understanding the process of figuring out simple addition problems.  This lesson plan can then translate into helping children use number lines, their fingers or any resource that can help children figure out simple math problems.


Students will complete simple addition problems using objects and counting.


  • As many dinosaurs that you can find—of all kinds.
  • Worksheet (right-click to Save target as...)
  • Pencils


Anticipatory Set:

Choose a large dinosaur and ask the children how many legs, feet, eyes, nose, mouth, belly, tale, etc. it has.  Then write an addition problem on the board that looks like the worksheet.  Demonstrate how to write the problem and then solve it.  When you are demonstrating how to solve it, make sure you are clearly pointing to each area that you are counting, referring back to the problem frequently. 


  • Pass out dinosaurs and worksheet.  *This activity can be done in stations or as an assignment, depending on how many dinosaurs you have.  It can be done in partners or independently, depending on the level of your students. See technology options for other variations.
  • Each problem will be done with one dinosaur.  Explain to the children that once they are done with one dinosaur, they need to find someone else to exchange with and then go on to the next problem.
  • Do the first one or two problems together.  You may find that doing the whole thing as a class will be most effective.


The worksheet of observed work on interactive whiteboard serve as the assessment.

Technology options and tips:

  • Turn the worksheet into an interactive activity by using a projector and interactive whiteboard. Have students complete the worksheet at their desk as students take turns going to the board to complete the electronic worksheet. If your interactive whiteboard has the ability to clone objects, consider cloning the clip art pictures in this Microsoft Word version (RIGHT click and Save Target as to download) so the clip art can be dragged above the line to use as a counting object.
  • Dinosaur Math PowerPoint (RIGHT click and Save Target as to download) —use an interactive whiteboard to display the PowerPoint (computer MUST have PowerPoint software). Have students come to the board to complete the number sentences. The last slide has room to create your own number sentences. PowerPoint slides print out well to make big books.