Lesson Plan

Spring Symbols Subtraction

In this spring-inspired lesson plan, students’ understanding of subtraction will blossom. They will use spring-related counters and visual models to assist their subtraction skills.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the More Subtracting Fun! pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the More Subtracting Fun! pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to subtract within 10 using spring themed objects.

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


(5 minutes)
Flower Matching GameSubtraction Practice: Spring Into It!
  • Have five students come as a group in front of the class.
  • Say, “Okay, we have five students up the front. If I only want students wearing a shirt/sneakers, etc. How many people are wearing shirts/sneakers? How many people are not wearing shirts/sneakers? How many should we take away from the group?” (Tip: Have at least two students leave the group, one at a time.)
  • Ask, “Does the group have more or less people?”
  • Explain that when we subtract from a group of people, the number of people gets smaller, (as the group went from five to three people.
  • Tell them, “Today we will talk about how we can use spring objects to help us subtract, or take away, correctly.”


  • Allow students to count in their home language (L1).
  • Have students use a thumbs up/thumbs down to signal more or less people in the group.
  • Review or define words such as smaller, bigger, and take away in both English and student home language (L1).


  • Invite students to turn and talk to share if they think the group has more or less people using the sentence frame, "The group has more/less people because ________."