Part-part-whole Addition with Building Bricks

Contributor: Courtney Butler. Lesson ID: 12787

Building bricks are just for playtime, right? Put them away when it's time to study! NO! These fun toys can help you add and subtract and find missing numbers! Learn how here!


Arithmetic, Operations and Algebraic Thinking

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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OH MY LEGOS®! They are so much fun to build with, but even more fun to do math with! We can use LEGOS® to add!

To see how you can use LEGOS® to help improve your math skills, watch this short Hereford Elementary First Grade video to learn all about the Introduction to Part Part Whole:

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Now, using what you learned from watching the video above, take out your LEGOS® and practice some problems. The studs of the LEGOS® (the raised bumps) are what we are going to be counting for each problem.

Are you ready to use some Legos® to add? Print the Part-part-whole Addition with Building Bricks worksheet, found under Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar, and follow these directions:

  1. Using a LEGO® with 2 studs and one with 4 studs, put the 2-studded LEGO® in one section of the worksheet that is labeled Part, and the 4 studded LEGO® in the other section labeled Part.
  2. Now, count the total number of studs from both LEGOS®, just like they were different colored flowers making up a whole garden!
  3. Next, see if you can find one LEGO® that shows the total number of studs that you counted.
  4. Color in the total number of studs you counted on your paper.
  5. Now, let's see what you got when you added the studs.
    • If you counted and put a LEGO® (or LEGOS®) that equaled 6 studs, you are correct.
    • You should have also colored in all 6 studs on the diagram to show your total.
  1. Continue practicing this using the diagram with different LEGOS® and see what you come up with for different sums (totals of studs).
    • Do you notice that you can also subtract using the same numbers?

You can practice your subtraction as well as addition using this strategy. For example, 4 + 2 = 6, 6 - 2 = 4, and 6 - 4 = 2. Wasn't that so much fun!? Who knew you could play with LEGOS® and learn math!

Be sure to share with your parent or teacher what you liked or didn't like about the lesson, then continue on to the Got It? section for more practice!

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