ALEX Lesson Plan


Where Oh Where Has My Addend Gone?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Summer Payne
System: Mobile County
School: Pearl Haskew Elementary
The event this resource created for:CCRS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33147


Where Oh Where Has My Addend Gone?


Students will use number bonds and counters as a strategy for finding the missing addend. Students will become aware of the relationship between addition and subtraction. They will also use counting as it is related to addition and subtraction.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 1
3 ) Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract. (Students need not use formal terms for these properties.) [1-OA3]

Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known (Commutative property of addition)

                To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12 (Associative property of addition)

MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 1
4 ) Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. [1-OA4]

Example: Subtract 10 - 8 by finding the number that makes 10 when added to 8.

MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 1
5 ) Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2). [1-OA5]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.1.5- Represent addition and subtraction of 1 more or 1 less from a number 1 to 15.

MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 1
8 ) Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. [1-OA8]

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
4NPO3f: Solve application problems involving numbers and operations.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will solve missing addend problems using different strategies such as number bonds, counting on, and relating addition and subtraction facts. The students will relate counting to addition and subtraction. The students will solve real-world problems involving missing addends.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

task cards (attached- some cards are left blank for teacher use)

number bond (attached)


Technology Resources Needed:

interactive whiteboard or digital projector (optional)

interactive whiteboard file (attached) (optional)



Students need knowledge of addition and subtraction. Also, this lesson uses a number bond, but students do not have to be familiar with it to complete this lesson. The lesson explains what a number bond is and how it can be used. It is just another strategy to show the relationship between addition and subtraction.




Begin the lesson by saying, "I am planning a party for this weekend. I will have 10 guests. I need to buy party favors for my guests. I know that 4 of them are girls. I need to know how many boys to buy party favors for. Can you figure out how many boys will be at my party? Turn to your neighbor and talk about the question."

After students have talked to their neighbor, say, "Today we are going to solve some problems using something called part-part-whole. Part-part-whole is the same thing as addition and subtraction. We are going to use a tool called a number bond to help us solve our problems."


1. Show the number bond (attached) on the interactive whiteboard or draw one on the board or on chart paper. Show students that the circle that is by itself is where we put the whole number. The other two circles are the parts, or addends. Tell them that "addends are numbers that are being added in an addition sentence."


2. Think about the problem we talked about earlier. What number do you think I would put in the top circle? What number is the whole number? Do you agree or disagree with that answer? Why? (Students should come to the conclusion that 10 will be in the top circle)


3. What did I know from the problem? (Pause for student answers) We knew that I had 10 total guests and 4 of them were girls. Where do you think we should put the 4? (Allow student responses to determine the 4 should go in one of the part circles)


4. Have a student add four counters to the interactive whiteboard display (if you are not using a board, you can use a piece of chart paper to draw your number bond and place the counters). 


5. Look at our number bond. What are we missing? (Allow student responses)


6. What are some ways that we could find that missing part? Students should share strategies such as counting on, using subtraction, relate the problem to addition facts, etc. Have a student count on using cubes to fill in the missing part on the number bond.  Ask: How could we write this as a number sentence? What would our number sentence look like? Does it matter in what order you write your number sentence? Can it be written like this  10=4 +6? Why?


7. Have students work with a partner. Tell them they are going to work together to solve some word problems. Give each pair a number bond (attached) and some counters. Each pair will also receive a set of task cards with missing addend word problems.


8. Have the students use the number bond and counters to solve the problems on their task cards (students can use other strategies if they do not need the manipulatives). Tell students to circle the number that was missing after they complete their number sentence.


9. After students have completed the task cards, have everyone come to the carpet and lay out their cards. Compare and contrast the cards and have students share how they solved the problems.

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Assessment Strategies

Ask the following questions during wrap-up:

Did anyone use a strategy other than the number bond? What was your strategy? Did it work every time?

Looking at a number bond, what do notice about how addition and subtraction are related.

Thinking about the problems you just solved, did all of the number sentences have to be written as addition problems? Could they have been written another way? Explain.

What can you tell me about addends?



Have students create their own real-world missing addend word problem.




20 free questions to review missing addends. Let students use number bonds and counters to solve the problems. Teacher will work with student individually or in a small group. If there is no access to Internet, the teacher can make up missing addend number sentences.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.