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Octopus and Squid Math Activity

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Lesson Time: 15 minutes to 1 hour (longer for older ages)   Age: Pre-K to 2nd grades

Area of Study: Art, Math, Science


Background/objectives: Students practice counting to learn the difference between a squid and an octopus

Materials: paper and crayons

Preparation: Pint out two sheets of paper one with a squid on it one with an octopus. Label each picture with the name of the corresponding creature keeping the first letter in bold face.


1.     (More likely than not the kids will know what an octopus is but not what a squid is). Pass out the Octopus sheets. Ask the student if the recognize what the animals is.

2.     Once it is established (either by teacher or by students) that they are looking at an octopus pass out the squid sheets and ask them to identify the animal.

3.     Establish that the new animal is a squid

4.     Ask the kids to very quickly list any differences they see between the octopus and the squid.(shape of head or body for example).

5.     Ask about the legs, instruct the kids to count the legs of each animal an write the number down.

6.     Ask if the leg number shows them another way octopi and squids are different.

7.     Make sure that everyone understands that an octopus has eight legs while a squid has ten.



Tips and Tricks:

 Really use the comparisons and contrast between the squid and octopus as a way to talk about shapes (circle versus triangle, round versus straight long versus short). Check on the students to make sure the point to the legs as they count and make sure they can ge the right number of legs more than once. Also by telling the kids to write the numbers down they can practice handwriting. If the Octopi  and the Squid images come from a color sheet they can transition into a coloring activity as an incentive for counting and writing numbers correctly.

How to implement for…

Pre-K: make the activity as oral as possible, have the students count out loud and tell you what differences they notice, use writing as a way to make sure they can write numbers 8 and 10.

1-2: Turn the activity into reading and writing exercise, maybe make squid or octopus into a spelling words, have the students write down the differences they after a teacher led discussion as a way of assessing what they took from the lesson.


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