Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 2-3, students watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie Addition and Subtraction Fact Families and explore related resources to learn about the relationship of numbers in a fact family through the operations of addition and subtraction. Students then play a game where the object is to find all the members of their fact family.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie Addition and Subtraction Fact Families
  2. Brainstorm how knowing fact families can help them calculate quickly.
  3. Play a game in which they must find all members of a fact family.
  4. Create a fact family triangle.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Index cards


  • Preview the movie Addition and Subtraction Fact Families to plan for any adaptations
  • Write out sets of addition/subtraction fact families on index cards with one number sentence per card so there are enough for the whole class. For example, 2 + 4 = 6; 4 + 2 = 6; 6 - 4 = 2; 6 - 2 = 4)

    Lesson Procedure:

    1. Write the following two number sentences on the board: 2 + 4 = 6; 4 + 2 = 6. Ask students what they notice? They should notice that both sentences include the same numbers. They may also observe that the order of the two numbers you’re adding doesn’t matter--that they either way the sum is 6.
    2. Now add these two sentences to the board: 6 - 4 = 2; 6 - 2 = 4. Again, ask students what they notice. They should observe that both sentences include the same numbers and that both begin with 6.
    3. Finally ask them to look at all four sentences together. What do they notice? Help them recognize that all four statements include just the numbers 2, 4, and 6. Explain that these are a fact family.
    4. Tell students that today they will learn about fact families and then play a game where they reunite facts from the same family. Play the BrainPOP Jr. movie Addition and Subtraction Fact Families on the whiteboard for the whole class. Pause as needed to reinforce student understanding of key concepts and vocabulary. 
    5. After the movie, distribute a fact family card (see Preparation) to each student. Tell students that they need to find the rest of their family for a family reunion! Allow students time to walk around the classroom finding the other three facts that make up their family.
    6. Finally, invite each family to review their facts and then present themselves to the rest of the class. If time allows, challenge them to put the numbers that make up their fact family on a fact family triangle.
    7. Conclude the lesson by challenging students to the Easy or Hard Quiz to assess their understanding.