Math Garden

Image coming soon!

Explore addition and subtraction while creating a garden! Add or subtract petals to balance each side of your garden.

  • 1.

    Provide students with white paper and Crayola® Washable Markers.

  • 2.

    Instruct students to draw soil and grass on the bottom of their paper.

  • 3.

    Assign each student an addition or subtraction problem. Instruct students to use markers to create two flowers on the left side. The petals of each flower should represent the numbers in the equation. For example, if the equation were 5 + 3, the student would draw one flower with 5 petals and one with 3 and place the operation symbol between their stems. Demonstrate during oral explanation.

  • 4.

    Once the students have represented their assigned equation with flowers, instruct them to balance the garden with two more flowers that equal the same total. For example, if the assigned equation was 6 + 11, they could create 5 + 12 or 8 + 9 to balance with another set that equals 17.

  • 5.

    Once student work is complete, ask them to find a partner to explain their work. This project could be showcased on a spring bulletin board with the title “Our Math Gardens.”


  • Math: Add and Subtract within 20.
  • Math: Relate counting to addition and subtraction.
  • Language Arts/Speaking and Listening: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.


  • Instead of white paper and markers, use construction paper and glue. The teacher could pre-cut everything to allow students to quickly achieve results.
  • This activity could also be used to support science. While studying the parts of a flower, students could draw those parts accurately!
  • This could be extended to upper grades by using multiplication or division. The activity could also be used for early algebraic work to learn to identify variables.
  • Use Crayola® Sidewalk chalk to do this outside on the playground!