Lesson 14

Use Diagrams to Compare

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to use their understanding of bar graphs to interpret tape diagrams and solve Compare problems with the difference unknown within 20.

Lesson Narrative

In this lesson, students use their understanding of bar graphs to make sense of a new representation, the tape diagram. The tape diagram is a representation that can be used by students to represent story problems. Students will use tape diagrams in grade 2 and throughout elementary, middle, and high school.
  • Action and Expression
  • MLR2

Activity 1: Party Time (Part 1)

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Solve Compare problems with an unknown difference within 20.
  • Use understanding of bar graphs to make sense of tape diagrams.

Student Facing

  • Let’s use bar graphs and diagrams to solve Compare problems.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Party Time

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

The relationship between addition and subtraction is important as students develop fluency within 20 in grade 2. How did you use the tape diagram to help students build this understanding?

Suggested Centers

  • Sort and Display (1–3), Stage 2: Picture or Bar Graphs (Addressing)
  • Shake and Spill (K–2), Stage 5: Cover (up to 20) (Supporting)

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