Year level: Foundation

Strand: Number

Lesson length: 45 mins

In this first of three lessons, students investigate the concept of Yuendumu leaf games and stories and become familiar with how they can be used for addition, subtraction, quantification, counting and subitising.

This lesson was developed in collaboration with Caty Morris and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).

The original concept of the Yuendumu leaf game was developed by Kumanjayi Nangala. Permission has kindly been granted for use in this resource.

Yuendumu leaf game: introduction Image

Achievement standard

By the end of Foundation, students use subitising and counting strategies to quantify collections. Students represent practical situations that involve quantifying, equal sharing, adding to and taking away from collections to at least 10.

Content descriptions

Students recognise and name the number of objects within a collection up to 5 using subitising. AC9MFN02

Students represent practical situations involving addition, subtraction and quantification with physical and virtual materials and use counting or subitising strategies. AC9MFN05

General capabilities


Critical and Creative Thinking | Inquiring 

  • Identify, process and evaluate information Level 2

Cross-curriculum priority

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

First Nations Australians’ ways of life reflect unique ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing. A_TSIC2

  • Use observation and informal conversations to assess students’ proficiency in using counting strategies to quantify collections.

Some students may:

  • not yet be using one-to-one correspondence (for example, they are not yet coordinating the number names with pointing to or moving objects one by one). Use this lesson to highlight and practise counting accurately by ones.
  • be using one-to-one correspondence accurately to count a small collection but may not yet be conserving number to ‘trust the count’ (for example, understand that counting the same collection a second time will yield the same answer each time). 

Prior to this lesson, it is assumed that students:

  • know how to count small collections (of at least 5), applying the principles of counting
  • understand that it is the last number said that gives the count of a collection
  • know how to solve simple number story problems, which require students to add, take away or combine two amounts by imagining or role-playing the situation and counting the resulting quantity.

What you need:

  • Lesson plan (Word)

  • Teacher’s slides (PowerPoint)

  • At least 5 gum tree leaves (or similar) of different sizes