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Learning Math with Clifford the Big Red Dog

written by: Donna Cosmato • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 1/17/2012

Kids shout “Bone appétit" as they chow down on dog-bone shaped snacks and hear a story about Clifford the Big Red dog learning to count. This lesson plan includes teacher resources and math activities to support the literacy lesson.

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    Lesson Overview and Objectives

    This math lesson plan is designed for elementary students who can identify and write the numbers one through 20. This easy-to-teach lesson takes about 45 minutes and can be used as a stand-alone lesson or as part of a unit study based on Clifford books.

    Clifford the Big Red Dog Books 

    The educational objectives are:

    • Reinforcing counting and writing cardinal numbers one to 20.
    • Listening and following directions.
    • Children will be able to read and complete simple word problems.

    The following supplies are needed for this math lesson plan:

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    Learning Math with Clifford

    To prepare the math worksheets, copy and paste the text below into a word processing program and print copies. Use the bone shaped snacks as manipulatives. Go through the worksheet problems one by one, letting the children take turns using the bones to solve the problems. This interactive lesson gives teachers the opportunity to assess learning and make corrections on the spot. Having visual aids helps concrete thinkers perform the math operations faster.

    Read the sentences, and write the correct number for the answer.

    1. Two balloons plus zero balloons equals _______
    2. Three presents plus three windows equals _______
    3. Four hats plus four dogs equals _______
    4. Two chairs plus three chairs equals _______
    5. Six trees plus zero trees equals _______
    6. Seven candles plus seven forks equals _______
    7. One dog plus eight sacks equals _______
    8. Four balls plus five balls equals ______
    9. Three cats plus three cats equals _______
    10. Three cats plus four cats equals _______
    11. Two boys plus three girls equals _______

    Students love counting with the help of Clifford the Big Red Dog. Using dog bone snacks as manipulatives to reinforce mathematic concepts is a tasty way to teach math. This lesson is perfect for any classroom or homeschool environment.

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    Lesson Extension

    This Clifford books contains fifteen of the pre-primer Dolch sight words: one, my, is, in, the, a, two, we, to, I, three, up, yellow, and, red. Making flashcards for these important words is a good lesson extension project. The flashcards can be used in various ways:

    • Have the children point to the word, say the word, and pronounce the word.
    • Let the children work independently to put the words in ABC order.
    • Let the children choose a sight word and use it in a sentence.

    Helping children learn and recognize sight words encourages reading comprehension and confidence. Fluency in reading sight words builds faster readers who understand materials better.

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    Reading List

    Try these other Clifford the Big Red Dog learning theme books to extend this lesson:

    • 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]

Teacher Lesson Plans for Clifford the Big Red Dog

Here is a series of lesson plans based on Clifford the Dog books. The subjects covered are math, ABC's, and various aspects of grammar and vocabulary development.
  1. Learning Math with Clifford the Big Red Dog
  2. Learning about Self-Control with Clifford Books
  3. Have Fun with Clifford the Big Red Dog Learning about Good Deeds

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