Teaching Subtraction
with children's books

Teaching subtraction with children's books is not only a lot of fun, but it is also a great way to help children see some kid-friendly real world applications of subtraction... and add in a little reading too!  Helping kids to find the difference between two numbers is only part of the task. Often, the harder part is helping kids turn a real world situation into a subtraction equation.

Great children's books do this in spades ...and entertain too!  And subtraction picture books helps ensure lessons are well differentiated for the learning styles in your classroom. It's amazing to witness a child struggle and struggle with subtraction, and then suddenly 'get' it because of a few well-told stories. Just proves that kids do really learn best through stories.

We hope you enjoy this list and find books that will help you in your subtraction lesson plans. Have fun browsing.  And if we've left off a good one, let us know!

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Best Books for Teaching Subtraction
with links to buy on Amazon

Monster Musical Chairs subtraction picture book

Monster Musical Chairs
(monsters get out 1 by 1)
Preschool - Grade 1



Elevator Magic mathstart subtraction book

Elevator Magic
(subtraction on an elevator)
1st grade - 2nd grade



If You Were a Minus Sign subtraction storybook

If You Were a Minus Sign
(good intro to subtraction)
1st grade - 3rd grade



Shark Swimathon mathstart subtraction book

Shark Swimathon
two-digit subtraction
Grade 1 - Grade 3



Ten Sly Piranhas subtraction story

Ten Sly Piranhas
(piranhas eaten 1 by 1)
Preschool - Grade 1



Hersheys Kisses Subtraction book for kids

Hersheys Kiss Subtraction
(subtraction via Kisses!)
Kindergarten - 2nd grade



The Action of Subtraction -- Math is Categorical

Action of Subtraction
(a kooky Math is CATegorical
series subtraction lesson)
1st grade and up!



Subtraction Action by Loreen Leedy

Subtraction Action
(comic format about a
trip to the school fair)
Kindergarten - 2nd grade



Mathterpieces math picture book

Math-terpieces
The Art of Problem Solving
(uses art to teach math)
1st grade - 5th grade



Panda Math subtraction real world examples

Panda Math
Learning About Subtraction from Hua Mei & Mei Sheng
2nd grade - 5th grade



Why use kid's books for teaching subtraction?

Just as direct instruction and daily practice are important parts of teaching subtraction, so is helping children to 'see subtraction' in the real world.  Even if that world is a fictional one (ie: a fictional math subtraction book), kids who can see the application of subtraction in a setting outside of their math worksheets will be better able to apply subtraction in a range of situations, even unfamiliar ones.

And, story problems make much more sense to kids who have been exposed to the books like the ones listed above.  Kids who find subtraction story problems (or math in general) 'annoying' might just start to realize why all this subtraction learning is important after all. That's the wonder and power of good stories! :)







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subtraction books for children