Comparing Quantities and more - in the Pea Pod

comparing numbers

I popped into the inboxes of the newsletter-super-fans yesterday with a little pea pod math game. I thought of some more ideas so thought a blog post was ideal! 

First engage your students with a little story about a vegetable garden and a pea pod that has grown! The story will help you integrate some listening, language and visualizations skills in your math work. 

You need:

  • green counters if possible
  • pea pod cards (shared with you below)

To play:

  • each student in your small group has a pea pod, will collect peas and count them
  • you will engage students in a small group math talk about how many peas in each pod, model how to compare 2 pods to see more/less, support 1:1 counting (each child point to their counters and assigns a number name to each counter as they count them)
The teacher starts with all the green counters - in a tub, a little green bag or pouch that represents a pea pod.

Tell this story to lead the activities:

Math Play Story

There was some trouble in the vegetable garden last night - with the peas. When they first grew, there was room for them all in the pod. As they grew and got bigger and bigger there was less space for them… they got restless (you can shake your container) until the pod split (empty and spill the counters). The peas bounced and hopped in all directions (spread them out evenly over the playing space). What a mess! The peas will never be nice to eat out like this so we must gather them back into a pod. Collect some peas now for your pod - but don't rush, they'll be squashed!

Now your students work to collect some peas and count them as they place them into their pod. You could now ask each student to:

  • tell how many peas they have
  • demonstrate 1:1 counting
  • label the pod with a numeral (laminate and use with dry erase marker)

Talk about more/less and slide 2 pea pods together to model direct comparison, lining up the peas to make it easier to compare.
Play several times giving your learners lots of counting opportunities.

On repeat plays, shorten the story, giving a brief summarized version but use the words split and back as key listening words to spark action. Hearing the word split can signal to your students to get ready and on hearing the word back they can start collecting. This encourages attentive listening skills.

I should pause here and let you know that if you are not an email-super-fan you can become one using the sign up at the bottom of this email - and I'll send you the pea pod printable! Directly to your inbox!

Here are a few more early math activity ideas for using the pea pods. 

Count the Pod

Students pick a pod (that you have numbered) and match the correct number sof peas (counters) to it. 

counting in kindergarten

Guess the Pod

Slide the counters off from the previous activity. Flip the pods. Can your students guess the pod number by looking (counting) the peas?

number sense

Two Pods - early addition

Students take 2 pods. Fill them with peas and find out how many altogether. 

adding numbers

Bigger and Smaller

Flip all the pods. Take turns to pick two pods and determine which is bigger. 
After this let students pick one pod and tell the number that is next and before - e.g. if they choose 5, they will tell you 4 and 6. 

ordering numbers


Let your students each have a blank pod. Flash a dot pattern card. They make a matching number on their pod with counters. 

subitizing numbers to 5

I hope you love these number games perfect for the first months of kindergarten. If you like the idea of little peas happy in a pod you may like our new classroom door display! On each pea you can type your students names and you can create your own welcome message with the editable message board! 

pea classroom door