Ordinal Numbers

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11821

Do you watch baseball? Do you know what the bases are called? Are they, "Base Number One, Base Number Two," etc.? There is an easier way to name them, and you'll learn to put ordinal numbers in order!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


All of these animals are on their way to the zoo. Which animal is first in line?

You saw a line of animals heading to the zoo.

These animals are in a specific order. Were you able to figure out which one was first? Do you know which animal is second, and which animal is third? Tell your parent or teacher your answers.

If you count the animals in order from left to right, you would count the zebra first, the buffalo second, and the elephant third. You always want to count from the first place in line. A way you can tell which object is first is by looking at the direction the objects are facing.

This lesson is all about ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers are used to tell the order of specific things. For example, you can use ordinal numbers to describe a person's place in line, you can use ordinal numbers to tell in which place someone finished in a competition, and you can use ordinal numbers to sequence activities and events.

Take a look at the chart below. Ask your parent or teacher to read the chart aloud to you. This chart shows you all of the numbers you use to count, and how the matching ordinal number is written:

Counting Number Ordinal Number Written Ordinal Number
1 1st first
2 2nd second
3 3rd third
4 4th fourth
5 5th fifth
6 6th sixth
7 7th seventh
8 8th eighth
9 9th ninth
10 10th tenth


When you are telling the order of something, you use the same numbers you use to count. For example, if you counted down the line of animals you may have said the zebra was number one. Instead of saying "number one," you would say "first."

Take a look at another example. All of these forest animals are in line to go to a lake. There is a bear, a racoon, a deer, and a chipmunk. Can you tell your parent or teacher which animal is second and which animal is fourth?

Check your answers using the chart below:

Before moving on to the Got It? section, say the ordinal numbers listed below out loud with your parent or teacher:

  • first
  • second
  • third
  • fourth
  • fifth
  • sixth
  • seventh
  • eighth
  • ninth
  • tenth

Great job! You used ordinal numbers to count from one to ten.

In the Got It? section, you will be watching a review video and playing ordinal number games!

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