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Understanding ‘first’ and ‘last’

Why is this important?
‘First’ and ‘last’ are concepts of time: they refer to something happening before or after something else. They are also significant ‘order’ concepts when creating sequence in numeracy.

What to do

  • It is useful to do this activity with a group of children of mixed ability, so that children who have already acquired these concepts can act as models for those who are still learning.
  • Get the group to line up, then ask the child to stand ‘first’ or ‘last’ in the line.
  • If the child is unsure, show him/her where to stand.
  • Once you have given the instruction and the child has moved to the right place in the line, reinforce this by saying where the child is (e.g. ‘Yes, now you are first’).