Adding and Subtracting Zero

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11699

Zero is a funny number. What do you do if you see a zero in a math problem? You have to look inside the number 0 to find out! You will solve some easy math problems to learn everything about nothing!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


If you have zero cookies, how many cookies do you have?

The number zero can be a tricky number.

If you have zero cookies, that means you have no cookies at all. Take a look at the zero below. There is a special trick to help you remember that "zero" means there is nothing. If you look in the middle of the zero, you can see it is empty. There is nothing inside the zero. Every time you look at a zero, pretend you are looking into an empty container. This will help you remember that when you see a zero, there is nothing there.

If you have zero bananas at home, this means you have no bananas. Can you think of some things you have zero of? For example, Bobby has zero pet monkeys. This means Bobby has no pet monkeys. Share an example of something you have zero of with your parent or teacher.

You know that if you have zero of something, there is nothing at all. Take a look at some examples of math problems that have zero in them:

If you add 0 to 3, what happens? Tell your parent or teacher.

That's right! If you add 0 to 3, it is like adding nothing to 3. Your answer would be 3 because nothing happened to the 3.

This works the same way with subtraction. If you have 3 and you take away 0 (nothing), your answer will still be 3 because you did nothing to the 3.

You did a great job learning about zero! Before moving on to the Got It? section, tell your parent or teacher how much zero is!

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