Addition and Subtraction Lesson Plans

Are you ready to introduce addition and subtraction to your first grade students? Use the interactive lesson plans and activities below to help effectively guide your instruction.

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How to Introduce Addition and Subtraction

In first grade, your students will be learning how to add 1-digit and 2-digit numbers within 100. You will also be teaching your first grade students how to subtract within the range of 10-90. As you introduce addition and subtraction to your students, it is important to provide them with significant opportunities to work with hands-on materials. This will allow them to manipulate numbers, which will result in a more concrete understanding of the skills you are teaching. As an added benefit, using hands-on materials allows your instruction to reach all types of learners.

To help your students be prepared for independent work, encourage them to use modeling or drawings when solving problems. Remember, as you introduce addition and subtraction to your students it is important to convey the relationship between the two skills.

What's Your Addition Sentence?

This activity will allow your students to work with manipulatives, as well as with the written form of addition number sentences. This would be a great follow-up activity to use after introducing number sentences to your students. For this activity, you will need two different colors of linking cubes. Supply each of your students with a few of each color cube.

Ask your students to link their cubes together and write the number sentence that is being modeled. Randomly call on students to share their number sentence with the class. After allowing several students to share, have them join with a partner. As a team, the students should combine their cubes to create a new number sentence. Depending on your students' ability levels, you could continue having them join cubes with other classmates.

Subtraction Rings

This activity would be a great way to help your class transition from using drawings to more concrete number sentences. For this game, you will need a collection of empty 2-liter bottles and several diving rings. Before beginning, fill the 2-liter bottles with sand to weigh them down. Write a number on each bottle and arrange them on the floor in your classroom.

Have students take turns tossing two diving rings onto the bottles. The bottles they ring will determine the numbers in the subtraction sentence. For example, if a student tosses rings onto bottles labeled nine and six, then he or she would say: 9 - 6 = 3. Feel free to use 2-digit or 1-digit numbers that relate to your students' ability levels.

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