How Many Cherries?

How Many Cherries? lesson plan

Addition and subtraction story problems are sweeter with cherries, cherry pies, and cherry trees.

  • 1.

    Students work together as a class to solve simple word problems involving cherries. Make sketches to use as a tool for solving problems.

  • 2.

    Choose a partner. Select an addition or subtraction problem to illustrate and solve with Crayola® Construction Paper Crayons and construction paper.

  • 3.

    Fold the paper in half. First draw cherries, cherry pies, or cherry trees to illustrate the problem. Use bold crayon numerals and symbols.

  • 4.

    On the other half of the paper draw cherries, cherry pies, or cherry trees to illustrate the solution. Be sure to include the answer to the problem by making it big and bright.


  • LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting or plot.
  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • LA: Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • MATH: Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
  • SCI: Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that vibrating matter creates sound and that sound can cause matter to vibrate.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.


  • Possible classroom resource includes: Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Working in small groups or teams of two, students compose word problems about cherries or other fruit that involve addition and/or subtraction. Students pose their original problems to classmates for solution. Students also create a visual sketch to represent their word problems. Students match up the word problem with the visual sketch.
  • Small groups of students create addition and subtraction equations. Members of the group write these equations on an index card. Students not members of the group view the index card equation and create an illustration that represent the addition or subtraction problem. Members of the group review the sketches to see if they correctly represent the equation.
  • How many cherries are in a cherry pie? Bring a cherry pie to class. Students remove the top layer of crust and count the number of cherries used to make the pie. You may choose to bring in several pies from various manufacturers and count the cherries in each. Which manufacturer used the most cherries? What is the different between the largest number of cherries used and the smallest number of cherries used? Students do the math!