Math Lesson Plan: Put the Order in Ordinal Numbers


  1. Practise reading numbers from the Hundreds Chart, especially the first 31 numbers.


  1. Learning to put ordinal numbers in order
  2. Learning:   Ordinal numbers: numbers that tell their position in a series.  They end in ”  st,   nd,   rd,   th”.  Example:  1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th  (This statement will be printed on the blackboard or on a chart paper ahead of time, then later in students’ math journals.)


  1. 4″ X 6 ” index cards, 31 of them (for 31 days in the month, but for now, you need one for each student)  printed on the front, on the lines, one above the other, “1st” on top and “first” on the bottom of the card (using three lines for primary printing) on the first card, “2nd” and “second” on the next card, continuing to “31st” and “thirty-first”.  I do 31 cards so I can use them after this lesson when student’s print the date on the board.
  2. students’ math journals
  3. large classroom Hundreds Chart


  1. Each student is given a card with an ordinal number.
  2. Teacher helps students to form a line, starting at the left front of the room and going across the front of the classroom and down the side.
  3. Teacher then tells the students that the numbers that they each hold on their cards is an ordinal number, which means that the number tells its ORDER, like we’re going to tell our ORDER in this line.  Teacher shows the written definition to students, and shows how the word “Ord”inal contains part of the word “Ord”er, so they can remember it’s meaning.
  4. Teacher tells the students to hold their ordinal numbers in front of them.
  5. Teacher now tells students that, in a few minutes, we’re going to have a race….a race to see how fast everyone can “put themselves in ORDER”.  Have students look at their number and listen as the teacher goes behind each student, starting with the 1st one at the front of the classroom and says, “This is the 1st student in line.  Whoever’s holding the ordinal number ‘1st’, put up your hand.  This is where you will go.”  Teacher continues on to the second student and says.  “This is the 2nd student in line.  Who’s holding the ordinal number ‘2nd’?  You’ll stand here.”  For the 3rd student, simplify it, saying. “3rd.  Who’s 3rd?”  Nod to that student and continue, “4th?”  When that student puts up his hand, ask him/her “What do you do?”  They should answer, “I go there” or “I’ll stand there”.  Teacher reminds students to remember where they are going.  Teacher continues counting ordinally until they reach the last student.
  6. Now the teacher says, “Let’s put those ORDinal numbers in ORDer.  Go.”  Each student will then go and stand in their new spot in order.  Teacher may have to remind them that if they get mixed up, they need to read the numbers on either side of them and “get in ORDER  like an ORDinal number”.
  7. When students have gotten in order, have them “read” out their ORDinal position in the line.  “1st, 2nd, 3rd…”
  8. Students now sit down, get out their math journals, write the definition of Ordinal Numbers, and give some examples.  In a minute, they will print out ALL the ORDinal numbers they have done today.  BEFORE THEY BEGIN PRINTING THEIR ORDINAL NUMBERS:  Remind students that if they need some help, they can look at the Hundreds Chart.    Remind students that most of  the ORDinal numbers end in “th”.  Show students the PATTERN on the Hundreds Chart:  The 1st, 21st, 31st end in “st”, 2nd, 22nd  end in “nd”, 3rd, 23rd end in “rd”, and 4th, 24th end in “th”, as well as the rest of them.
  9. Now, students are ready to continue.  In their math journals, below the definition and the examples, students try to write all the ORDinal numbers they have just heard.  (Class of 23 will only have heard 1-23, class of 31 will have heard 1-31, larger classes will have gone higher, but those extra cards will not be used for the calendar.)
  10. When students have finished printing all the ORDinal numbers they have done today, have them bring up their 4X6 cards and stick them up in ORDER on the board in a special place by the calendar months and days.  Tell students that from now on, when a student prints the date on the board, they will come here and get the ORDinal number and place it in the date.  Do today’s date for them to show them how it will look.Example:  Tuesday,      September         29th,             2010.twenty- ninth

    For the daily printing of the date:  Students will print everything but use the card for 29th/twenty-ninth, taping it on the board in the proper position.  The remaining numbers stay in order where the days/months are kept.

Tags: , ,

How did this work for you? We'd love your feedback