1 2 3 4 5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive

Learning numbers can be challenging when you are 5 years old.

Using a fun, hands-on activity, like fishing, can make reading and recalling numbers exciting and easy. A piece of doweling with string and a magnetic attached makes a perfect fishing rod. Paper fish with a metal paper clip make great trout, snapper or even sharks.

Room 15 students play a variety of games using their fishing rods and fish.


Reegan said, I like fishing. I’m getting better at reading the numbers.

Game: Catch’n Release

Students catch a fish, then read the number. They help and support each other to recognize and say the number on the fish. Then they let the fish go.

Game: Catch’n Keep

Students keep each fish they catch, then they read the numbers and place it in order from smallest to biggest.

 Game: Catch’em All

Students try to catch multiple fish on one cast. After reeling in their catch, students must read all the numbers by themselves or set them all free.


Ryker said, I can catch lots of fish at once. Some numbers are tricky.


Tomas said, I try to swing my fishing rod to catch the fish far away.


Austin said, I like turning the fish upside down so I cannot see the numbers. Then it’s a surprise.


Matilda said, I like the sea creatures better because they have harder numbers, and they are prettier.

When students have mastered reading number fish one to ten, they move onto sea creatures one to twenty. Fishing for squid, whales, stingrays, and swordfish is exciting and a little more challenging.


Key Words:  Whole Numbers, Reading Numbers, Number Sequence, Fishing, Hands-on Activities

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