Math lesson ideas for the Number 4 (four)

Number 4 (four)  

Objective:  Help children recognize the number 4 and the word “four”, use numbers for counting, count 4 objects, learn to write “4” and “four”.


  • Find an art print or picture from a calendar or magazine with good examples of “four”.
  • Optional:  Have play food or other objects for counting.
  • Have some stickers.
  • Write the number “4” and the word “four” on a word card.  Use the “1 one”, the “2 two” and the “3 three” word cards from previous lessons.
  • Decide on a simple book, poem or song that has good examples of three.  Possibly use, “Fish Story”.  (Included at the end.)
  • Have paper and pencil for each child.  (It is fun to use a colored paper or colored pencils.)


Display the word card with “4 four”.  Discuss the difference between the number “4” and the word “four”.  Compare to the “1 one”, “2 two” and “3 three” cards.

Read a Fish Story.  Did you hear the number 4?   What number comes before 4?  What number comes after?  Is 4 more or less than 3?  Etc.

Show the picture and have each child pick out 4 things in the picture.

Show how to make the number 4.  (It is like a capital L with a lowercase l on top.)  Have them make them in the air with their finger.  Have them close their eyes and write the number 4 in the air.

Give each child a paper and pencil.  Have or help them write their name.  Show the word card again for “4 four”.  Have them write a number “4” several times, and the word “four”.  (If a child has a hard time writing their letters, write the word with a yellow pencil and have them trace it.)  Put out stickers and have them select 4 for their paper.  (They could also draw four things.)

Extension ideas:  Possibly include some counting, comparing or patterning activities with play food.  Use graph paper to graph the food by color.  Count to see how many of each and which have more, the most, the least, etc.

Fish Story

One, two, three, four, five –
Once I caught a fish alive.
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten –
Then I let it go again.
Why did I let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
The little finger on the right.

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