Guided Lessons

# Subtraction Stories

Let’s make subtraction real! In this lesson, students dive into three-digit subtraction by solving real-world word problems.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

Students will be able to solve word problems involving three-digit subtraction.

(5 minutes)
• Begin by telling students you are going to share a subtraction story.
• Ask students what they think a “subtraction story” might be. Take a few answers.
• Explain that a subtraction story is a real-world situation where subtraction is used to solve a problem or come up with a solution.
(10 minutes)
• Tell students the following subtraction story: Mario had 384 leaves in his backyard. He raked 142 leaves. How many leaves were left in the backyard?
• Write on the board 384 - 142 = ___. Explain that you’ll need to figure out how many leaves were left when 142 was subtracted from 384.
• Solve the problem, explaining the steps you took aloud.
(10 minutes)
• Now tell students it’s their turn to solve a subtraction story.
• Tell students the following story:
• Have students turn to a partner and work together to solve the problem.
• Take a few answers from the class.
(20 minutes)
• Hand out paper to each student. Tell them to write three subtraction stories for a partner to solve. The subtraction stories should involve three-digit numbers.
• After students are done writing the stories, they should switch papers with a partner.
• Have students solve each other’s subtraction stories.

Enrichment:Have students create and solve subtraction stories that involve regrouping.

Support:Have students create and solve subtraction stories that do not involve regrouping.

(5 minutes)
• Assess students’ understanding by observing both how they write and how they solve subtraction stories.
(5 minutes)
• Call on a few pairs of students share their stories and answers with the class.