Subtraction Action

Download the Activity

Mathematics, Numbers and Numerations

Grade 1- 3


Create and move pictures to illustrate the various combinations of the number 5.


Before the computer

  • The teacher should make a copy of the activity sheet for each pair of students.
  • The teacher should model this activity for the students using the computer, an overhead projector, or the chalkboard.
  • Students should be familiar with the stamp function and the draw and paint tools. Students should also know how to print their drawings.

At the computer
  • Display a blank document in the paint software on the monitor.
  • Divide students into pairs.
  • Explain to students that they will be illustrating number sentences for the number 5 using stamps or the paint and draw tools.
  • Tell Student A to stamp 5 copies of a chosen stamp in a row across the top of the screen.
  • Student B should drag any subset of those stamps down to the bottom of the page.
  • Students should then work together to create a number sentence representing their actions on the activity sheet.
  • Students should drag the stamps back to the top of the page so that all 5 are in a row again.
  • On the next turn, Student A should drag a different subset of that group down to the bottom of the page.
  • Partners work together to record the appropriate number sentence.
  • This activity should continue until all possible combinations of the number 5 have been recorded.
  • Students should print their pictures to turn in along with the activity sheet.

  • Students can illustrate the combinations and write number sentences for other numbers.


  • computer with paint software
  • printer
  • copies of the activity sheet (See the link below. There is also a sample of the activity provided.)

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