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Toy-Shop Numbers

  • Lesson
Number and Operations
Location: Unknown

A toy-shop theme is used to help stimulate and generate discussion about numbers. Students use examples from a toy-shop to identify real-world uses of numbers and to write stories about those numbers.

Distribute the Toy-Shop Numbers Activity Sheet to each student.

pdficonToy-Shop Number Activity Sheet 

Ask the students to first look at the toy-shop picture, as shown on the activity sheet.


882 bike toys

Ask them to tell what they see in the picture and what they think the picture is about. The students should name each of the objects in the picture. On the chalkboard, write the names of the objects as each is suggested.

Ask the students to look at the picture and find examples of the use of numbers. If more assistance is required, refer to each of the words on the chalkboard and have the students identify how numbers were used with each word. Some suggestions include:

  • prices on the toys,
  • the number of tennis balls in the package,
  • time on the clock, and
  • the number of balloons in a package.

Have the students write numbers on the Toy-Shop Numbers Activity Sheet for the prices, numbers, lengths, and so on, that are suggested.

Once students have identified a particular number from the toy-shop, they can then work independently or in small groups to write their stories. They should be encouraged to write description of different ways numbers are used.

  1. First, have the students prepare a draft of their writing.
  2. Help them edit their work, correcting spelling, checking the use of capital letters, and suggesting appropriate sentence structure.
  3. Then have the students copy a final version, for which they can illustrate what they wrote.

Students can share their stories with the rest of the class.


Teacher Note 

If you prefer to print in black and white, you may access a printer-friendly version of the Toy-Shop Numbers Activity Sheet.

pdficonToy-Shop Numbers Activity Sheet (B&W Version) 


Calvin Irons and Rosemary Irons. "IDEAS: Numbers and Language." The Arithmetic Teacher. January, 1993, 40, 5. p 264 - 77.

Assessment Option

Ask the students to tell some ways that numbers might be used in a toy shop that are not shown in the picture.


  1. Have students work together to make a collage of information for another shop.

    They could work in small groups to make a manila-folder collage or as a whole class to make a bulletin board.

    Before they begin, the students should discuss various ways they might find numbers used in the shop.

  2. Have each student select a favorite number.

    Make sure that the number chosen by each student is appropriate for his or her age.

    Each child should write reasons that the chosen number is a favorite.


Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify and describe one-, two-, and three-digit whole numbers.
  • Write stories about how those numbers are used in the real world.

NCTM Standards and Expectations

  • Connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations.
  • Develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers.

Common Core State Standards – Mathematics

Grade 1, Number & Operations

  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1
    Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

Grade 2, Number & Operations

  • CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.3
    Read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.