Counting: Handfuls

Australian curriculum number (ACMNA001; ACMNA002; ACMNA003)

Students consider ways of structuring a collection so that the total can be quickly identified. This task focuses on building counting skills, particularly students' ability to subitise a collection. They will see that some arrangements allow the number in the collection to be identfied more quickly than do other arrangements.

This task is for students who:

  • have developed early counting skills, including one-to-one correspondence and cardinality.
  • have confidence and accuracy when counting a collection of objects up to at least 20.
  • have had some exposure to activities involving subitising.


Lesson 1: Handfuls

This task asks students to take a ‘handful’ of counters and to count how many they have. They are asked to organise their count in a way that makes it easy to see the total of the collection. Students participate in a gallery walk and consider the way that others in class have arranged their collection. The benefits of different arrangements are considered. Students are then provided the opportunity to re-organise their collection.


Last updated June 12 2020.