NUMBER BONDS COLLAGE – Shape, Colour, Contrast

Students create a mixed media collage to show the number bonds of a specific number.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts


collage colour contrast number bonds shape


Crayola Washable Glue Crayola Scissors Crayola Construction Paper A Variety of Found Objects Googly Eyes

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NUMBER BONDS COLLAGE – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step One

Step One

  1. Cut out the number and the number bonds.
  2. Place them aside for later.
  3. Use construction paper to make your picture.
  4. Use shapes and colours to show the number bonds.
NUMBER BONDS COLLAGE – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Glue the number onto your picture.
  2. Glue a number bond with its picture.
  3. Repeat for each picture.
  4. Use crayons to add other details to make your picture interesting.
NUMBER BONDS COLLAGE – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Accordion fold a small strip of paper.
  2. Glue a number bond to one end.
  3. Glue the other end to the matching picture so it pops up.
  4. Repeat for the other number bonds.
NUMBER BONDS COLLAGE – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

  1. View your picture with fresh eyes.
    - How does it show the number bonds?
    - How do the details make you want to keep looking at it?
    - What do you like best about your picture? 

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use cutting and gluing skills to create a mixed media collage;
  • create images of number bonds for a specific number;
  • cut out organic shapes;
  • explain the meaning of number bond;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.


Have students:

  • work with a partner
  • use a book such as Number Bond Friends, by Jessie Wilson as inspiration to create rhymes about number bonds;
  • illustrate their rhymes;
  • create a dance to accompany their rhymes;
  • present their work to the class.


  1. Download and display the Colour, Shape, and Contrast posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the elements of colour and shape – primary colours, organic and geometric shapes
    - review or teach the principle of contrast – extreme differences
  2. Teach or review number bonds - pairs of numbers that add up to a specific number.
    - group counters into 2 groups
    - chart the different ways to make 2 groups of a number of objects
    - write the number bonds on a chart or whiteboard
    - write number sentences for number bonds
  3. Gather and make available books about numbers and shapes, e.g., Number Bond Friends, by Jessie Wilson; Love, Triangle, by Marcie Colleen and Bob Shea; Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color, by Julia Denos; One Was Johnny: A Counting Book, by Maurice Sendak: Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina; Bird Watch, by Christie Matheson; and Circle, Square, Moose, by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.
  4. Download and play Number Bonds songs from the Internet, e.g.,
    Secret Agent Number Bond
    Number Bonds - Jack Hartman
    Number Bond Song


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with the book Number Bond Friends, by Jessie Wilson.
  2. Have students make up rhymes for other number bonds, e.g., Five - 1 and 4 a starting to snore; 4 and 1 are having fun!
  3. Have students sing and move to a Number Bonds songs such as Number Bonds - Jack Hartman.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a mixed media collage.
  2. Choose a number from 4 - 10 and create images of number bonds for it.
  3. Cut out organic shapes.
  4. Explain the meaning of number bonds.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a mixed media collage
    - created images for number bonds for my number
    - cut out organic shapes
    - added details to make my picture interesting
    - explained what number bonds are
    - glued shapes down smooth and flat
    - kept my work in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have students work with a partner. Ask them to share:
    things they like best about their collages
    - two things that are the same about their collages
    - two things that are different about their collages
    - how they showed the number bonds
  2. Invite some students to share with the whole class.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their collages – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the collage, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - NumberBonds_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students in grade 1 use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - NumberBonds_self-assessment.pdf)