Lesson plan

Math With Bears

This bear-y fun lesson will help your students understand addition and subtraction and reward their efforts with a sweet treat!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Very Hungry Addition pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Very Hungry Addition pre-lesson.

Students will be able to complete addition and subtraction problems.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today we're going to read Bears on Wheels.
  • Tell them to watch for number words. Ask students to see if they can do the simple addition problems that come up while reading the book.
(10 minutes)
  • Take out the gummy bears and give about 25 gummy bears to each student. They will use these gummy bears to add and subtract the bears in Bears on Wheels.
  • Tell your students that they can eat these gummy bears later.
(15 minutes)
  • Read Bears on Wheels. You can use this book to teach your students number words as well as addition and subtraction.
  • You can have the students follow along with the story by adding up the number of gummy bears along with the bears on wheels.
  • Ask them how many bears they have throughout the story.
(20 minutes)
  • After the students understand the concept of addition and subtraction, have them work on math problems. They can use their gummy bears as counters.
  • Pass out Gummy Math! and have students complete it independently.


  • Advanced students can try two-digit addition and subtraction. Practice Subtraction: Color in Mr. Bear can be used.


  • Struggling students would benefit from one-on-one support and single-digit addition problems. They can use the gummy bears as their counters. Once they've mastered single-digit addition, you can then move onto single-digit subtraction.
(15 minutes)
  • Read Bears on Wheels again. However, before revealing the total sum of bears, have the student add them up and tell you the answer before you flip the page.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask the students what addition and subtraction are. Ask them to give you examples of each.
  • End the lesson by quizzing them with addition and subtraction questions.
  • The students can eat the gummy bears after the lesson.

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