Lesson Plan


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Big Ideas




This lesson uses story problem contexts to develop strategies for learning basic addition and subtraction facts. A number line is used as a tool for computation. Students are encouraged to represent and discuss their solutions in multiple ways. Students will:

  • choose appropriate operations to solve story problems.
  • demonstrate addition and subtraction strategies using a number line.
  • record number sentences to show their work.
  • use counting forward and counting backward strategies.

Essential Questions

  • How can expressions, equations, and inequalities be used to quantify, solve, model, and/or analyze mathematical situations?
  • How are relationships represented mathematically?


  • Addition: To join two or more numbers (or quantities) to get one number (called the sum or total).
  • Subtraction: To take one quantity away from another.


50–60 minutes

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills hasn't been entered into the lesson plan.


  • number line (0–20) for the floor, large enough for students to walk on, or masking tape to create one (number lines at www.jumpingjoeysnumberline.com/products/)
  • sets of 7 beans (lima beans work well) prepared in advance, each with a “+” sign on one side and a “−” sign on the other. (Plastic chips could be used instead of beans.) You will need one set per pair of students (or only one set if you play the Number Line game as a class).
  • small cups, one for each set of beans
  • paper and pencils, or dry-erase markers and a whiteboard
  • copies of Number Line (M-1-3-2_Number Line.doc), one per pair of students for Number Line game (none if playing as a class)
  • game markers, one per student if playing game in pairs (none if playing as a class)
  • Number Line 0–30 (M-1-3-2_Number Line 0-30.docx)

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  • Current Rating





There are some good suggestions. I've always found number lines and hundred charts to be helpful for first graders.

Posted more than a year ago
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