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Number Sense


K, 1st, 2nd




60 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

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Using Numbers to Think About Biodiversity (Number Sense & Biodiversity #2)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
May 17, 2024
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In this lesson, students use a base number to compare the numbers of extinct, endangered, and vulnerable species and consider how to help protect animals and plants.


Step 1 - Inquire: Students estimate the number of living things in a group to get a sense of the large number of species in the world.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students write numbers to represent the number of living things on the IUCN's Red List.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students compare and contrast numbers to compare groups of living things, reflecting on how to help living things in their community.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students will consider how responsible decision-making impacts them and their environment directly.

  • Students will link the math skills of writing and comparing numbers to real-life applications.

  • Students at all levels of proficiency with number sense can participate using differentiated materials.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 2 of 3 in our Number Sense and Biodiversity unit.

  • This lesson reinforces concepts of place value by giving students partner and independent practice. Students should already have an understanding of place value to at least 1,000 to fully engage with the materials. 

  • The Teacher Script can be used as a guide during the Investigate section.

  • Work in the 1,000 Number Packet could be done outside of the designated time for lessons if students are working independently and the given time isn’t sufficient.

  • The Number Packets include teacher keys.


  • Students can work independently or in groups to complete the Number Packet. 

  • The Number Packet has some numbers filled in for students to stay on track. More numbers could be added for support.

  • For K-1st, there is a 100 Number Packet that converts the number of species on the list to 100, instead of 1,000.

  • For early kindergarten, there is a 20 Number Packet that converts the number of species on the list to 20 and does not specify by category. The packet uses simple terms such as “in danger,” “not enough information,” and “not in danger.” If you choose to use this resource, do not use the IUCN category vocabulary cards.
Scientist Notes

This lesson lets students build their capacity to quantify and have a sense of the state of biodiversity in their community. This activity enables them to have a grip of species richness and conditions that impact biodiversity, track changes to biodiversity loss, and learn ways to protect biodiversity loss. All materials embedded in the lesson are credible. As a result, this lesson has passed our credibility review process.


Primary Standards

  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Counting & Cardinality (K)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.
    • Number & Operations in Base Ten (K-5)
      • 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.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.NBT.B.3 Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.3 Read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.4 Compare two three-digit numbers based on meanings of the hundreds, tens, and ones digits, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.

Supporting Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
      • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.


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