MATH: Doodle-Sums

Time Required: Two 45-minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

Students explore subtraction and decipher a color-key in order to doodle the Doodle-Bird and her babies with the appropriate colors. Then students will create their own addition stories using the Doodle-Bird and other doodles to act it out.

*See standard 1.OA.6 for a list of mental strategies.

Note: Any links outside of are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Lesson Plan



For each group: Have 5 3Doodlers, and fill each one with one of these 5 colors: white, light blue, dark blue, green and orange. Place paper cups filled with refills of each of the 5 colors on the same table where students will be working. This same setup should be prepared for each group of 5 students.

*Optional: you can use a piece of masking tape to label which pens have what colors in them.

Step 2

Whole Group: Review addition facts with sums within 20.

Step 3

Share the goal: Solve problems with sums within 20 using the Doodle-Bird Worksheet and 3Doodler pens.

Step 4

Review strategies for solving addition problems, e.g., counting on, making ten, decomposing a number leading to a ten and creating equivalent but easier or known sums.

Step 5

Model how to doodle the Doodle-Bird Worksheet by solving each problem. Explain that the sums in the color-key indicate which color should be doodled in each segment of the Doodle-Bird, eggs, her babies and worms.

A) Outline each segment with the appropriate color first.
B) Fill in each section with the appropriate color.
C) Fill Doodle-Bird’s head first, doodling in the eyes last.
D) After doodling, students may add extra doodles, i.e., wavy lines or spirals to their doodled parts.

Step 6

After the demonstration, instruct students to solve all of the Doodle-Bird addition problems. Review students’ answers to make sure they are correct.

Step 7

Instruct students on how to use the color-key to decipher colors. Have students color with color pencils first to confirm they know which color goes in each segment of Doodle-Bird. Check their work.

Step 8

Hand out 5 3Doodlers to each group, each pen having been pre-loaded with the appropriate colors (see Step 1). Circle to assist and assess. The responsibility of doodling the Doodle-Bird, eggs, baby birds and worms should be divided among each group.

Wrap Up

Students will share their Doodle-Birds, eggs, and worms with peers. Post pictures of the Doodle Birds on Twitter. @3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU


The teacher will assess students’ understanding of strategies based on their input during whole and small group work, their solutions to addition problems, and the students’ writing and enacting of their own Doodle Sum stories.

Possible Extensions

Students will use the same doodles to write their own Doodle-Difference stories and act them out for the class. Popsicle sticks can be welded to the back of each doodled figure with the 3Doodler, which will enable them to be used as puppets.


TIP 1: Outline each area first before filling. It is easier to segment off larger sections by doodling the initial outline, and then filling them in with the 3Doodler.

TIP 2: Students can doodle the rectangular "stands" on the worksheet, and then weld them to the base of each doodle so they can stand upright on a table.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

Reference 4

Reference 5


  • acting - the art or practice of representing a character before an audience.

  • addition - the act or process of adding.

  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • color - the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.

  • drawing - the art or technique of representing an object or outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • writing - any written or printed paper, as a document or deed.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.

In This Lesson

Students will solve addition problems using mental strategies in order to determine the colors needed for doodling each section of the Doodle-Birds and worms.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of determining colors for Doodle-Birds, eggs, babies, and worms by solving addition problems and using the related color key.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to create a doodled model that displays their understanding of addition skills and strategies.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to create a dimensional model of a Doodle-Bird, eggs, babies and worms based on addition sums and a color key.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will seek feedback from peers as they solve addition problems, assign colors and doodle with the 3Doodler.

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