I bought the book Up, Down, and Around last week from the book fair and really wanted to use it in a lesson this week so I put together a subtraction lesson using veggies.
I had students use their arms to act out up, down, and around as we read the story.
We acted out subtraction story problems using a big brown basket and veggies. I had some printer issues so I had to use black and white veggies instead of color ones.
The farmer picked different numbers of veggies and placed them in his basket. Then we all used our arms to pretend to carry a big heavy basket and drop some. Each time different numbers of veggies would fall out.
Then we acted out more story problems using our vegetable cut-outs. Once students have a good bit of experience with subtraction story problems, have them create their own problems to act out.
After we did several different subtraction problems for practice and discussion, I had students place all 8 of the veggies in their basket. Then they drew a playing card to determine how many veggies fell out of their basket.
Students glued their veggies down. Then we worked together to talk to their story problem and to fill in the blanks at the bottom of the page.
To make the veggies: I gave students colored squares and rectangles and had them clip all 4 corners and round. After all of their veggies were cut, we acted out story problems using them.
Depending on the level of your class, you could let students pick their own veggies and use number generators to determine the number of veggies they start with. For management purposes, I made these decisions for the students. I have them the same number of each vegetable and 8 total.
Potato 5 X 3
Carrot 1 1/2 X 6
Corn 2 1/2 X 6
Beans4 X 1
Tomato 3 X 3
Background 12 X 18
Remember to ask lots of questions throughout this process and always have students explain their thinking. You can ask how many are in each group, which group has more, which group has less, how many more, etc.
Click here to download the words for the activity.
Click here to download the veggie pictures for acting out the problems.