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Goldfish Goodness Lesson Plan

Posted by Susan Armstrong on May 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM


This lesson plan was designed as a fun, delicious way for preschool children to learn to sort, compare, contrast, add and subtract with Goldfish crackers as they use sight, touch and taste as part of the learning experience.


1. Develop basic essential math skills (adding and subtracting)

2. Develop math concepts such as sorting, counting, grouping, and one to one correspondence

3. Become familiar with math language concepts

4. Compare and contrast groups

5. Color recognition

Materials Needed:

Box of Pepperidge Farm GOLDFISH COLORS Baked Snack Crackers

Paper towels

This activity can be done either at the snack tables or at the math center tables as a small group or large group activity


1. Introduce the activity to the group. Let the children know there are more than one color of goldfish in the box. Ask the children Have you ever seen colored Goldfish snack crackers? Do you know how many colors there are in the boxes? Can we figure out how many?

2. Hand out paper towels to each child participating and pour some Goldfish on them.

3. Encourage the children to do this as a group so that we can compare how many of each color we all have- to see if there are more of a certain color than the others.

4. Ask the children to separate/sort the fish in groups based on the color. Ask How many groups of colors do we have? There are four groups, so now that we know this, Say Let’s find out how many are in the green group of fish? How many in the red group? How many in the yellow group? The purple (maroon) group?

5. After the children have their groups sorted and counted, have the children to remember their number of green fish, for later use in the activity. Emphasize the importance of remembering this number!

6. Now encourage the children to take away two, then three, etc from the red group. How many are remaining? What is the difference? Is the green group larger than the red group? Is the yellow group the smallest or largest? Ask many of these questions to enhance the compare and contrast learning experience. Doing the opposite with addition, have the children to add two, three, etc. and ask them What is the sum once the fish are added back into that group? Again have the children take away by eating a certain number of Goldfish from their groups and name the difference as they go.

7. Once the activity is complete, and the fish have been eaten, ask the children if they remember their number of green Goldfish. Announce The child who had the most green Goldfish can go to the next center or activity first, then the next highest amount… and so on until all the children are in the next learning center.


You must guide the children through this activity. Great emphasis should be placed on the math language words such as take away, difference, add, sum, total, smallest and largest. Encourage the children not to eat the snacks until the end of activity, though some will try and eat them right away.


Were all the objectives met? Did the younger children from the group participate as long as the older children? What would you change the next time we do this activity? Could the children grasp the idea of counting, subtraction, sorting and comparing and contrasting as planned? How can we enhance this activity and build on it in the future?

Ideas for Extension Activities:

1. (In the art center) Encourage children to draw or cut out the Goldfish shapes, emphasizing the use of the four colors used in the activity.

2. Challenge children to find other objects that they can use to add, subtract, compare and contrast in the classroom and at home. Tell parents about the activity so they may be encouraged to do the same type of lesson at home, to reiterate the math lesson in other ways.


Susan Armstrong


Categories: Lesson Plans

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