Most children learn their ordinal numbers in kindergarten. Ordinal numbers refer to the order or position of a number in relation to other numbers, for example, first, second, third, or fiftieth. Once children master cardinal numbers (the numbers used in counting quantity) or their 1-2-3s, then they are ready to grasp the concept of ordinal numbers.
All ordinal numbers have a suffix: -nd, -rd, -st, or -th. Ordinal numbers can be written as words, such as "second" or "third" or as the numeric value followed by the suffix abbreviations, such as "2nd" or "3rd."
Worksheets for Teaching Ordinals
These worksheets for teaching ordinals are geared toward kindergarten and first-grade students. Most of the worksheets require some reading ability. So, pre-literate children may need some guidance as you do the activity on the worksheets.01of 10
Ordinal Names for the TurtlesOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Identify the Ordinal Names for the Turtles
In this worksheet, students will get a fun start on this lesson on ordinal numbers. For the activity, students will identify both the ordinal name and number (such as "eighth" and "8th") for the last turtle in each of the five problems.02of 10
Ordinal Names for Ice Cream ScoopsOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Identify the Ordinal Name for Ice Cream Scoops
In this free worksheet, students will learn ordinal numbers by coloring scoops of ice cream. The problems direct students to color the scoops as in these instructions:
"The first, fourth, and seventh are red; the second, tenth, and ninth are green, and the third, fifth, sixth, and eighth are brown."
Identify the Ordinal Placement for Happy FacesOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Identify the Ordinal Placement for Happy Faces
Students may break out into smiles when they are tasked with printing the ordinal position for the sad face in each row (otherwise composed of happy faces). This worksheet also offers you the opportunity to review counting the ordinals verbally with the class, such as "first," "second," and "third."04of 10
Print the Ordinal NumbersOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Trace and Print the Ordinal Numbers
For this worksheet, students will get a chance to trace and print the ordinal numbers from "first" through "tenth." Extend this activity by having students write a sentence or short story using at least three of the ordinal numbers.
Identify the Stars Ordinal PlacementOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Write the Ordinal Names for the Stars
In this activity, students can look to the heavens to write the ordinal name for the gray star in each row, which is otherwise made up of stars that are white. Suggest a fun homework assignment where students go outside at night and see how many stars they can count using ordinal numbers. Have them report their results to you the next day.06of 10
Match the Numbers to the Ordinal NamesOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Match the Ordinal Names and Numbers
In this activity, students can show that they know their ordinals by drawing a line to match the ordinal names to their corresponding numbers, such as "sixth" with "6th," "third" with "3rd," and "tenth" with "10th." To reinforce this skill, write the ordinal names and numbers on the board and have students come up one at a time to match them.
Identify Ordinals for ApplesOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Identify the Ordinal Numbers for Apples
Students will be able to give the teacher plenty of apples in this assignment, where they identify the ordinal numbers for apples. For example, the first problem instructs students to:
"Put an X on the second, fourth, sixth and tenth apples. Color the first, third, fifth and eighth apples red."
This worksheet also serves as a nice break in the ordinal numbers lesson by allowing young students to practice their coloring skills.
Ordinal Numbers for the Car RacesOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Identify the Ordinal Numbers for Car Races
Students can practice their reading skills in this worksheet, which begins with brief sentences containing ordinal numbers, such as:
"The purple car is first. The red car is second. The yellow car is third. The green car is fourth."
In the second part of the worksheet, they will write the ordinal name for each ordinal number through 10, such as "first" for "1st," "second" for "2nd," and "third" for "3rd."09of 10
Identify the Letters in Your Name by OrdinalOrdinal Numbers. D.Russell
Print the PDF: Identify the Letters in Your Name by Ordinal
Students will need to know-and perhaps review-the alphabet for this printable. They will need to follow directions that instruct them to:
"Print your name and identify the ordinal position of each letter. Do your first name then your middle name and then your last name."
If students are struggling, show them how to complete the worksheet, perhaps by using the letters of your own name.10of 10
Ordinal Names for the Apples
Print the PDF: Identify the Ordinal Names for the Apples
Students will get another chance to use apples to identify ordinal numbers but in a slightly different way than in slide No. 7. For this worksheet, students will need to mark an "X" over the correct apple in each row as indicated by the ordinal number, such as "first" for the first apple in the row, "sixth" for the sixth apple in the next row, and "third" for the third apple in the subsequent row.
To close out the lesson, bring 10 apples to class and have students identify the correct apples according to the ordinal numbers you suggest. Then wash the apples thoroughly and share them with the class for a healthy snack.