# Big Fish Story

#### Visible Ocean

Provide each child with fish counters, a picture of the ocean, and a small pond (plate). Children take turns drawing a number card to determine how many fish to bring into the ocean (addition) or how many will be eaten by the shark (subtraction). After drawing a card, children move the fish to their checking plate, then their partner checks to make sure they moved the correct number. Both children then move the fish from their checking plate to the ocean or shark. Children figure out how many fish are in their oceans now. The other child draws a card and play continues.

Primary Objective

• Counting on from a number other than 1 (e.g., counting on from 3 to 5).
• Counting backward from any number (e.g., counting down from 6 to 4).
• Developing a beginning understanding of the connection between counting and addition/subtraction.

How to Use

If most of your children are able to count forward or back from a number other than one without support and demonstrate a knowledge of number combinations adding up to five or more, they might be ready for the Hidden Ocean version of this activity.

Materials

##### Steps of the Activity

The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!

Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Set Up

Step 1

Teacher chooses a starting number of fish from the bowl and shows the corresponding Counting Card and places that many fish in their ocean.

Step 2

Teacher asks child, “Am I right?” Child checks.

Step 3

Plus/Minus cards are placed facedown and a child selects one card.

Step 1

Children state how many fish are to be added based on the Plus/Minus card selected (e.g., +1).

Step 2

Teacher “jumps” that many fish from the bowl and into the checking pond (small plate).

Step 3

Teacher asks child, “Am I right?” Child checks.

Step 4

Teacher “jumps” their fish from the checking pond into the ocean.

Step 5

Children think-pair-share with a partner about how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know.
Steps: SUBTRACTION

Step 1

Children state how many fish are to be subtracted based on the Plus/Minus card selected (e.g., -1).

Step 2

Teacher “jumps” that many fish from the ocean and into the checking pond.

Step 3

Teacher asks child, “Am I right?” Child checks.

Step 4

Teacher “jumps” their fish from the checking pond into the shark’s mouth.

Step 5

Children think-pair-share with a partner about how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Whole Group

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting Level
##### What to do next

On a future day, do the activity in Small Group

Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above. Want even more challenge? For children who are able to count forward or back from a number other than one without support and demonstrate a knowledge of number combinations to five or more, introduce the Hidden Ocean version.

If most of your children are able to count forward or back from a number other than one without support and demonstrate a knowledge of number combinations to five or more, they might be ready for the Hidden Ocean version.

Materials

##### Steps of the Activity

For small groups, we suggest four children arranged in pairs of two with a teacher present to provide guidance. The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!

Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Set Up

Step 1

Teacher chooses a starting number of fish and shows the corresponding Counting Card and all children place that many fish in their oceans.

Step 2

Children ask their partners, “Am I right?” Children check one another.

Step 3

Plus/Minus cards are placed facedown and a child selects one card (choose different children to select a card for each round). All children add/subtract the same number of fish based on the plus/minus card drawn.

Step 1

Children state how many fish are to be added or subtracted based on the Plus/Minus card selected (e.g., +1).

Step 2

Children “jump” that many fish from their bowl and into their checking pond (small plate).

Step 3

Children ask their partners, “Am I right?” Children check one another.

Step 4

Children “jump” their fish from their checking pond into their ocean.

Step 5

Children think-pair-share with their partner about how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know.
Subtraction

Step 1

Children state how many fish are to be added or subtracted based on the Plus/Minus card selected (e.g., +1).

Step 2

Children “jump” that many fish from their ocean and into their checking pond.

Step 3

Children ask their partners, “Am I right?” Children check one another.

Step 4

Children “jump” their fish from the checking pond into the shark’s mouth.

Step 5

Children think-pair-share with their partner about how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Small Group

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting Level
##### What to do next

Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Small Group. Continue working in small groups with teacher support until students can comfortably play with minimal teacher guidance. Then have students practice the activity independently in Center . For children who are able to count forward or back from a number other than one without support and demonstrate a knowledge of number combinations to five or more, introduce the Hidden Ocean version.

Did some of your students play Hidden Ocean in a Small Group? If so, they should also play that version during Center Time. Don’t forget, children should play Visible Ocean in Small Group before playing in Center Time.

Materials

##### Steps of the Activity

The activity steps icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children!

Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Set Up

Step 1

Children choose a counting card that determines the starting number of fish and all children place that many fish in their oceans.

Step 2

Children ask their partners, “Am I right?” Children check.

Step 3

Plus/Minus cards are placed facedown and a child selects one card.

Step 1

Children state how many fish are to be added or subtracted based on the Plus/Minus card selected (e.g., +1).

Step 2

Children “jump” that many fish from their bowl and into their checking pond (small plate).

Step 3

Children ask their partners, “Am I right?” Children check.

Step 4

Children “jump” their fish from their checking pond into their ocean.

Step 5

Children state/discuss how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know.
Subtraction

Step 1

Children state how many fish are to be added or subtracted based on the Plus/Minus card selected (e.g., +1).

Step 2

Children “jump” that many fish from their ocean and into their checking pond.

Step 3

Children ask their partners, “Am I right?” Children check.

Step 4

Children “jump” their fish from the checking pond into the shark’s mouth.

Step 5

Children state/discuss how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Center

 Introduce the Activity Today, the Big Fish Story game we’ve been playing together will be at [name] Center! Tell students that the activity will be in Centers to play on their own. We recommend playing the activity in Small Groups at least once before introducing it in Centers. Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER Math: Start with a smaller number of fish – that is, only include counting cards with smaller numbers (e.g., 1 or 2). Include only +/- 1 cards so children add or subtract only one fish at a time Math & EF: focus on addition only (include only addition cards). MAKE IT HARDER Math: Start with a larger number of fish – that is, include counting cards with larger numbers (e.g., 3 or more). Include only +/- cards with larger numbers (for example, +/- 2 or +/- 3). Math & EF: focus on addition and subtraction (include both addition and subtraction cards). You will have picture cards to help you remember how to play. Display the activity step icons. Time to Play! Let’s remind ourselves how to play the game! Review the steps of the activity while referencing the Step Icons. When reviewing the Step Icons, tell children that they will be choosing the counting card in Step #3 instead of the teacher (as it was done in whole group and small group previously). Adjust the Challenge MAKE IT EASIER EF: Use the Step Icons  MAKE IT HARDER EF: Omit the Step Icons.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting Level