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Learn About Math With Clifford The Big Red Dog: A Lesson Plan for Elementary Teachers

written by: Donna Cosmato • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 8/2/2012

In this Clifford the Big Red Dog learning about math lesson, elementary students learn counting and addition in an interactive way. The children hear a fun story about Clifford the Big Red Dog while practicing math and literacy skills.

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    Lesson Overview and Objectives

    These Clifford the Big Red Dog learning about math teaching activities are designed for students who read and write independently or with minimal help. This lesson can be taught in about 45 minutes and requires a copy of the book Count on Clifford and copies of the two teaching activities' worksheets. Lesson plans based on Clifford are fun for kids and easy for teachers.

    Clifford the Big Red Dog Books 

    These lessons are for children who can:

    • Identify, recognize, and write the numbers one through ten
    • Read and understand short sentences
    • Perform simple addition

    The children learn to:

    • Use time wisely
    • Listen and follow directions
    • Do neat and careful work
    • Finish assigned work promptly
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    Clifford the Big Red Dog Learning Literacy Tips

    Hold the book up and point to the cover. Read the book title aloud, while pointing to the words. Encourage student predictions about what Clifford does in the story. Read the story, stopping where indicated, and count people and animals in unison.

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    Teacher Resources Worksheets

    Prepare the teacher worksheets by copying the text and pasting it into a word processing program. These lessons can be used as is or adapted as necessary.

    Teaching Activity: How Many?

    Read each sentence below and write the correct number.

    1. How many Cliffords are in the story?
    2. How many balloons did they have?
    3. How many presents did Clifford receive?
    4. How many of Clifford’s friends come to his party?
    5. How many chairs did they need to play musical chairs?
    6. Clifford tried to hide behind how many trees?
    7. How many candles were on the birthday cake?
    8. How many sacks of dog food did Clifford the Big Red Dog receive?
    9. How many balls did the clown juggle?
    10. How many cats came to play?

    Teacher Answer Key: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten

    Fill-in the Blanks

    Use numbers from the story to fill in the blanks.

    1. Emily Elizabeth blew up _______ balloons.
    2. There were _______ girls and _______boys at the party.
    3. There were _______ windows in the house.
    4. Clifford needed _______ party hats.
    5. There were _______ yellow chairs and _______ blue chairs.
    6. Clifford was _______ years old.
    7. Clifford received _______ red sacks and _______ yellow sacks of dog food.
    8. The clown juggled with _______ red and _______ yellow balls.
    9. There were _______ gray cats, _______ white cats, and _______ four striped cats that came to play.
    10. There were _______ children, _______ dogs, and _______ cats at the party.

    Teacher Answer Key: two, [three and two], three, four, [two and three], seven, [four and four], [four and five], [three, three, and four], [five, five, and ten].

    By the end of these teacher lessons plans, children know how to Count on Clifford. They understand the story and have participated in learning activities based on the Norman Bridwell book.

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    Lesson Extension and Reading List

    Teachers and parents can extend the lesson ideas and activities presented here with other math activities. For instance, word problems can be formed using the information from the book like this: If there are ten cats at Clifford’s party, and three are gray and four are striped, how many cats are white?

    Here are some other Clifford the Big Red Dog learning theme books with interesting stories and teaching activities:

    • Clifford Four Favorite Stories, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1972], includes: Clifford the Small Red Puppy, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Clifford’s Birthday Part, and Clifford Goes to Hollywood
    • Clifford’s ABC, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1983]
    • Clifford’s Word Book, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1990]
    • Clifford Cookie Crazy!, adapted by Gail Herman from the television script “Clifford’s Cookie Craving" by Baz Hawkins, [Scholastic, Inc., 2003]
    • Clifford’s Good Deeds, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1975]

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    Image Credit

    Image Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain