August 11, 2015
By Rekha Mundkur

Lesson plan

Bugs Away

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Solving Subtraction ProblemsPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Solving Subtraction ProblemsPre-lesson.

Students will be able to understand and practise the concept of subtraction. They can also learn about the bugs as an added bonus.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Wear a funny hat with numbers and a subtraction sign glued on it (optional), and tell your students that they will be learning about subtraction.
  • Read a book about counting backwards like Turtle SplashTo introduce the topic.
  • Draw students' attention to how the numbers reduce as each turtle in the story jumps off the log.
(10 minutes)
  • Now you can use the ladybug or turtle cutouts to demonstrate how the numbers go down.
  • Practise counting backwards with the students from 10-0.
  • Take out the worksheet and read the instructions on it.
  • Explain how to cross out the correct number of bugs to get the answer.
  • Write the answer in the blank space provided after the subtraction problem.
(10 minutes)
  • Allow the children to work in a group with help from you.
  • Place your students in small groups, and hand each group one set of the cutouts.
  • Show them how to lay down the cutouts, count, and then take away a few and count again.
  • Provide a copy of the worksheet inside a sheet protector and a dry erase marker.
  • Help the students do the worksheet in a group and write their answers on the sheet protector with the dry erase marker.
(10 minutes)
  • Once the students have done the activity, collect all the material.
  • Give each student a copy of the worksheet and ask them to take out their pencils and crayons.
  • Do a quick review of the directions to complete the worksheet.
  • Encourage them to start doing their worksheet independently.
  • Provide assistance and support when needed.


  • Advanced students can do the worksheet and write the numbers on their own.


  • Students can trace after you have written the numbers for them. However, encourage them to answer the problems before writing the answers.
(10 minutes)
  • Track the time taken by your students to complete the worksheet.
  • See if there are lot of questions being asked as they work independently.
  • Observe students as they work, and see if you need to do the activity again for better comprehension.
(5 minutes)
  • After the worksheets are completed, collect them.
  • Review the lesson's main concepts once more.

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