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Subtraction Action!

Teacher Lesson


  • Math



Brief Description

In this subtraction game, appropriate for students in grades 1 and 2, the teacher says a number between 1 and 19, and teams of students think of subtraction problems with that number as the answer.


Students become familiar with fact families and subtraction facts.


arithmetic, subtraction, fact families

Materials Needed


Lesson Plan

Organize children into teams of four, and provide the following instructions:

"Today we are going to play a subtraction game using numbers from 1 to 19. I will say a number, and each team has one minute to think of as many subtraction problems as possible that have the number I say as the answer. When the minute is up, I will go around the room, asking each team to tell me one of the problems the members have thought of. Each team will have ten seconds to say a problem and earn a point. If a team cannot think of a new problem in ten seconds, I will go to the next team. If a team gives an incorrect problem or a problem that has already been given, the team loses a point. The round ends when none of the teams can think of a new problem. The team with the most points after a predetermined number of rounds wins."

As each team gives a problem, write it on the chalkboard and ask the class whether it is correct.

You can record team points on a bar graph.


Administer a one-minute timed test on subtraction facts before playing the game, readminister the test after the game, and compare the scores.

Submitted By

Barbara Davis, Milan Elementary School, Milan, Tennessee

Updated 7/10/2002

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