Lesson plan

Bugs Away

A colorful and fun way to teach your students about subtraction. Cute creepy crawly bugs will entice your students to learn subtraction action. Added bonus is an opportunity to color bugs at the end of the worksheet.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Solving Subtraction Problems pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Solving Subtraction Problems pre-lesson.

Students will be able to understand and practice 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 Splash to 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.
  • Practice 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.


  • Students can trace after you have written the numbers for them. However, encourage them to answer the problems before writing the answers.


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