EL Support Lesson

More Subtracting Fun!

In this lesson, your students will review how to solve subtraction equations using drawings to represent the problem. This can be used as a stand alone or support lesson for the **Spring Symbols Subtraction** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theSpring Symbols SubtractionLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theSpring Symbols SubtractionLesson plan.

Students will be able to solve subtraction equations within 10 using objects or drawings.


Students will be able to explain how to use drawings or objects to represent subtraction problems.

(3 minutes)
Slippery SubtractionTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVocabulary Cards: More Subtracting Fun!Glossary: More Subtracting Fun!
  • Gather the class together for the start of the lesson.
  • Play the "Subtraction Song" on the projector.
  • Say, "Today we are going to practise our subtraction skills!"
(5 minutes)
  • Write a subtraction problem, such as 6 - 2 = ____And visuals (flowers) to go with the problem on the board.
  • Review or introduce the parts of the equation and how they relate using the following scenario, "I picked six flowers, then I gave two away to my friend. How many flowers do I have left?"
  • Use the Vocabulary Cards and Glossary to define subtraction and addition and highlight the differences. Then, ask students to turn and talk to a partner to share how addition and subtraction are different. Review as needed by saying something like, "Subtraction is taking something away and addition is putting things together."
  • Use a think aloud to model how to solve the sample problem. Demonstrate how to solve the problem by crossing off the pictures, and using content specific vocabulary. For example, "Six minus two equals four, I know because ____."
  • Circle the remainder and recount to check your answer. Tell the class that good mathematicians check their answers every time.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out personal whiteboards and explain that students will get to practise solving a problem as a group.
  • Write the problem 5 - 2 = ____On the board and draw pictures (e.g., circles) to represent the equation.
  • Read aloud the problem, having the students echo read after you.
  • Ask, "How can we solve this problem?" and have students turn and talk to share ideas with a partner.
  • Solve the problem as a group, having the students follow along with you by writing the problem on their whiteboards and solving it by crossing off two of the pictures. Then, count as a group to find the remainder.
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner to share other ways to solve the problem (using counters, number line, etc.).
(15 minutes)
  • Show the Slippery Subtraction worksheet and go over the instructions.
  • Pass out worksheets and have students complete independently.
  • When finished, pair students with a partner and instruct them to turn and talk to share how they solved each problem and how they checked their work.
(5 minutes)
  • Write a subtraction problem, such as 6 - 2 = ____And visuals (flowers) to go with the problem on the board.


  • Allow students to count aloud in their home language (L1).
  • Model how to use counting manipulatives and provide them to students to use as needed.


  • Provide students with subtraction problems using numbers 0-20 and encourage them to draw pictures to solve the problem.
  • Have students teach a peer how they solved their problems using sentence frames for support, "I solved the problem by _____."
(5 minutes)
  • Take note of student conversations during any partner work time. Use anecdotal notes to capture student thinking and problem solving strategies.
  • Collect work samples to check for accuracy in subtracting using pictures.
(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together.
  • Write a problem on the board and ask students to share ideas of how to solve the problem. Solve the problem with student input, modeling each step.
  • Review key points in the lesson and highlight strategies students used to solve the problems.

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