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Numbers 1-20: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rayna Cummings

Rayna has taught Elementary Education for 12 years (in both 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades) and holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from The Ohio State University

Counting the numbers from 1 to 20 can be done in several different ways. In this lesson, you will learn several ways to count: counting by adding one, counting with a number line, counting with words, and skip counting.

Counting by Adding One

Close your eyes and count the numbers 1 to 20. How did you count them? Did you see a number line? Did you use the number words? Did you skip count? Counting the numbers 1 to 20 can be done in different ways.

When you closed your eyes and began counting to 20, you did it as follows:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Did you know that when you are counting like the example above, from 1 to 20, you are actually doing addition and adding one to each number? Every number in the range is one more than the last number before it.

Here are examples of counting from 1 to 20 by adding one each time:

0 + 1 = 1

1 + 1 = 2

2 + 1 = 3

3 + 1 = 4

4 + 1 = 5

5 + 1 = 6

6 + 1 = 7

7 + 1 = 8

8 + 1 = 9

9 + 1 = 10

10 + 1 = 11

11 + 1 = 12

12 + 1 = 13

13 + 1 = 14

14 + 1 = 15

15 + 1 = 16

16 + 1 = 17

17 + 1 = 18

18 + 1 = 19

19 + 1 = 20

Using a Number Line

Counting numbers 1 to 20 on a number line helps you see a visual in your mind and keep the numbers in the correct order.

Example of a number line below:

<-- 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- 9 -- 10 -- 11 -- 12 -- 13 -- 14 -- 15 -- 16 -- 17 -- 18 -- 19 -- 20 -->

A number line can further help you understand how to fill in missing numbers from 1 to 20.

For example, what number is missing in the number line?

<-- 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- __ -- 10 -- 11 -- 12 -- 13 -- 14 -- 15 -- 16 -- 17 -- 18 -- 19 -- 20 -->

By being able to count from 1 to 20 using a number line, you could identify the missing number was 9. You can do this by looking at the number that came before the missing number on the number line (which was 8), and the number that came after the missing number on the number line (which was 10).

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