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Turkey Subtraction

Why are we doing turkey subtraction this early in the year?  In our district, we have district pacing guides that tell us when we introduce skills.  Our district introduces subtraction in the first nine weeks of school.  I know…most people find this shocking.  When this new pacing guide came out a few years ago I was totally against the idea but I adapted and when introducing subtraction we focus on “taking away.”   We do a lot of hands-on, concrete activities to work on understanding the abstract and challenging concept.

Turkey Subtraction

This turkey subtraction lesson was a last minute idea when we were in a planning meeting with our K team.  We were brainstorming ideas to practice and this idea popped into my brain.    It’s simple and was very fun and effective.

You need some turkeys  and some clothespins.  Click the picture to get your free turkeys!

turkey subtraction

I told word problems about turkeys and feathers.   For example:  Greg’s turkey has 4 feathers.  The wind blew 2 feathers away.  How many feathers are left?  Then the students used the clothespins to put the feathers on the turkey.

 Then we took the feathers away and counted how many feathers were left.  BAM!  Turkey subtraction!

Check out the video of this lesson below!  (And yes I give the “teacher look” to some of my little mustaches during the lesson!)

For more turkey and Thanksgiving creations, check out these resources:



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