Lesson Plan

Fact Family Trees

Number facts are related, just like families! Help students learn all about fact families while they make fact family trees!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Fact Family Triangles pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Fact Family Triangles pre-lesson.

How are different math facts related? Let’s talk about it in the Fact Family Trees lesson! This math lesson plan is perfect for first graders who are learning about subtraction within 20, addition within 20, and inverse operations. Teachers are provided with worksheets that break down addition and subtraction fact families and are encouraged to ask students how equations in fact families are similar or different. As a final activity, students will draw fact family trees on their own to show how three different numbers can be related.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to write related facts.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(5 minutes)
Frosty Fact Families: Addition and Subtraction
  • Write the following problems on the board:
    • 3 + 4 = 7
    • **4 + 3 = 7 **
    • 7 - 4 = 3
    • **7 - 3 = 4 **
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and share what they notice about the facts.


  • Instruct students to repeat after you, "Three plus four equals seven" as you point below the equation. Repeat with the other facts.
  • Provide sentence frames to guide students:
    • The equations are the same because ________.
    • The equations are different because ________.


  • Provide the sentence frame, "I notice ________" to use during the turn and talk.
  • Invite a few students to share what they noticed about the equations with the class. Tell students to give a thumbs up if they noticed the same thing as a classmate.