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Five Little Monkeys Subtraction

How do you introduce and practice subtraction in your class? In our classroom, we use the story Five Little Monkeys to introduce the concept of subtraction. This story is a great illustration of the idea of taking away. Keep reading to see how our five little monkeys subtraction lessons using Math It Up: Subtracting To 5.

five little monkeys subtraction

Subtracting Five Little Monkeys

To introduce the concept of subtracting, we start by reading the book, Five Little Monkeys. As we read we discuss how the monkeys fall out of the bed and how that is taking away. We also discuss that the number gets smaller.

five little monkeys subtraction

After we read the stories, we do some little monkey subtraction using the students to act out the story and act our subtraction equations.

And yes, you must wear a monkey costume when doing monkey subtraction!

Monkeys In The Bed

The next day we review the concept of subtraction as taking away. Then each student practices solving subtraction problems by putting monkeys in the bed and taking the monkeys out!

As we’re working on solving equations, we record the equation on our five monkeys subtraction chart!

five little monkeys subtraction

After two days of whole group work with subtraction, we shift to small group practice.

Five Little Monkeys Subtraction Small Group

five little monkeys subtraction

Students practice reading the equation, putting the monkeys in the bed and taking the monkeys away to find the answer. Then we read the equation with the answer.

For more subtraction ideas, check out this post:

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