Aboriginal Perspectives


Number Concepts

Jessica Wesaquate


Number (Number Concepts)

Grade Level:


Subject Area:



Main Objective:

Students will demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency with calculations. Students will decide which arithmetic operation or operations can be used to solve a problem and then solve the problem.

General Outcome:

Apply informal methods of addition and subtraction on whole numbers where the maximum sum is 18.

Specific Outcomes:

Use manipulatives and diagrams to demonstrate and describe the processes of addition and subtraction of numbers to 18.


Toothpicks (used to mimic tipi poles), pencils, paper

Related Video:

Tim Haywahe Video: 7: "Adding poles"

  1. Show students the video 7: adding poles, in the Tim Haywahe section and read the following story to your students:

    Tim and the group of girls want to put up a tipi. Tim grabs nine poles from his truck. The sisters grab six more poles from the truck.

    • Is nine poles some of Tim’s poles or all of Tim’s poles? Have students demonstrate this with toothpicks.
    • Is the girls’ poles part of Tim’s poles or all of Tim’s poles? Have students demonstrate the amount of poles the girls grabbed.
    • What are the most poles Tim and the girls can use to put up the tipi? Have students use the toothpicks to explain how they thought about the question.

  2. Have students follow the directions given. Students will draw simple pictures to show their learning and using a pencil and paper will record answers.

    Draw 6 tipi poles. Add (draw) 3 more.

    How many in all? ________

    Draw 8 tipi poles. Take (erase) 5.

    How many are left? ______

    Note: Memorization is not intended in these activities.