# Big Fish Story

#### Hidden Ocean

Provide each child with fish counters, an ocean image, a dark cloth or paper, and a small pond (plate). Children take turns drawing a card to determine how many fish to help get 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 have the correct number. Children then cover their oceans with the cloth so they cannot see the fish. Both children then move the fish from their checking plate to the ocean (under the cloth) or shark. Children discuss how many fish are in their oceans now, without peeking under the cloth. They then remove the cloth to check. The other child draws a card and play continues.

Primary Objective

• Producing and understanding number combinations of totals to 5 or more.
• Developing an understanding of addition and subtraction problems with numbers up to 5 or more.

How to Use

If most of your children are not yet 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, you should instead preview the Visible Ocean version.

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

Teacher covers the ocean with the cloth and child selects one face-down Plus/Minus card.
Steps of the activity: ADDITION

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

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 (under the cloth).

Step 5

Children think-pair-share with a partner about how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know (without looking under the cloth).

Step 6

Children remove the cloth from the ocean to check how many fish are still in their ocean.
Steps of the activity: 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, without removing the cloth.

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 (without looking under the cloth).

Step 6

Children remove the cloth from the ocean to check how many fish are still in their ocean.
##### 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

Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptations provided above for Whole Group. On another day, have the students play in pairs in a Small Group

If some of your students aren’t yet consistently able to count forward or back from a number other than one without support and do not yet demonstrate a knowledge of number combinations to five or more, they may benefit more from playing Visible Ocean

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 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

Teacher covers the ocean with the cloth and child selects one face-down Plus/Minus 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

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 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 (without looking under the cloth).

Step 6

Children remove the cloth from the ocean to check how many fish are still in their ocean.
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

Teacher “jumps” that many fish from the ocean and into the checking pond, without removing the cloth.

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 (without looking under the cloth).

Step 6

Children remove the cloth from the ocean to check how many fish are still in their ocean.
##### 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

Did some students need more support or more challenge? Don’t forget to try out some of 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 centers.

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

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

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 one another.

Step 3

Children cover their oceans with the cloth and select one face-down Plus/Minus 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 one another.

Step 4

Children “jump” their fish from their checking pond into their ocean (under the cloth).

Step 5

Children state/discuss how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know (without looking under the cloth).

Step 6

Children remove the cloth from their ocean to check how many fish are still in their ocean.
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 the checking pond, without removing the cloth.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

Children state/discuss how many fish are in the ocean now and how they know (without looking under the cloth).

Step 6

Children remove the cloth from their ocean to check how many fish are still in their ocean.
##### Instructions

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Center .

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting Level