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Basics on the topicAdding with Pictures

Adding means putting two or more numbers together to make a larger amount. Addition with pictures to 10 means we use simple drawings to take the place of the numbers we are putting together. These sketches help us count out the new larger amount without taking up too much time. In maths, we use images a lot to help us see the maths in action!

Let's try adding with pictures to help Imani and Mr. Squeaks work out how many jellyfish they saw. Sometimes when using addition pictures, children can spend more time on the illustration than the maths. So, it’s important to remember that pictures should not take a lot of time to draw. They are just there to help see the maths problem.

First, use simple pictures to show the first number in the problem, one.

Then, use simple pictures to show the next number, four.

Finally, we count all the pictures together to find the total.

We counted to five, so we write five next to the equals sign.

Using pictures may help you to depict addition in math. If you want to use pictures for addition, these are the steps to follow:

Step # What to do
1 Draw pictures to show
both numbers in the problem.
2 Then, count all the pictures
3 Finally, write the total number
next to the equals sign.
• Draw pictures to show both numbers in the problem.
• Then, count all the pictures together to find the answer.
• Finally, write the total number next to the equals sign.

Do you want to practise addition with pictures? On this website, you can also find interactive exercises for addition with pictures as well as worksheets with answers and more addition with pictures activities for further practice.

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Adding with Pictures.
• How many shells of each colour are there?

Hints

Find and count only the blue shells and match each shell to the correct total.

Find and count only the orange shells and match each shell to the correct total.

Solution

First, count all the blue shells. There are 2 blue shells. So, the blue shells belong to the blue circle with the number 2.

Next, count all the orange shells. There are 3 orange shells. So, the orange shells belong to the orange circle with the number 3

• Count the starfish to solve the equation.

Hints

First, find out how many blue starfish there are.

Count the blue ones above the blue line.

Next, find out how many green starfish there are.

Count the green ones above the green line.

We can find how many blue and green starfish there are by counting all of the starfish to the right of the equals sign.

Count the blue and green starfish above the black line.

Solution

There are 5 blue starfish.

There are 4 green starfish.

There are 9 starfish in total.

We can find out how many starfish there are in total by counting both the green AND blue starfish. You can find them to the right of the equals sign.

So, 5 blue + 4 green = 9 starfish!

• Which picture matches the equation below?

Hints

The number 8 after the equals sign means there must be 8 fish in total.

Try drawing your own picture that matches the equation.

Solution

The equation shows that there is a group of 6 fish first. Let's draw those above the red spaces.

Next, there are 2 fish after the plus sign (+). Let's draw those above the blue spaces.

Now, we have 8 fish after the equal sign (=), 6 red and 2 blue.

The picture you drew matches the image on the bottom right!

• Solve the problems below using addition.

Hints

Look at one picture in the top row and count the total number of crabs.

Now look at the bottom row. Which picture shows the number you just counted?

Count the crabs in the blue box. Next, count the crabs in the yellow box.

Then, count the crabs in both the blue and yellow boxes. This new number is how many crabs there are altogether.

Solution

1) Look at the top row. Count the total number of crabs in the first picture. The first group has 3 crabs and the second group has 2 crabs. If you count them all together, you get 5 crabs.

Next look at the bottom row. Find the image with the number 5 and 5 crabs.

2) Count the total number of crabs in the second picture on the top row. The first group has 2 crabs and the second group has 7 crabs. That means there are 9 crabs in total.

Now look at the bottom row. Find the image with the number 9 and 9 crabs.

3) Look at the third image in the top row. The first group has 4 crabs and the second group has 2 crabs. If you count both groups together, you get 6 crabs.

In the bottom row, find the image with the number 6 and 6 crabs.

4) In the fourth image the first group has only 1 crab. The second group has 3 crabs. That means there are 4 crabs when you count them all together.

Look at the bottom row and find the image with the number 4 and 4 crabs.

• How many octopuses are there altogether?

Hints

Start by counting the octopuses in the blue box.

Next, count how many octopuses are in the yellow box.

Count the octopuses in BOTH the blue AND yellow boxes.

Solution

There are 6 octopuses altogether.

To find out how many octopuses there are in total, you should count the octopuses on both sides of the plus sign.

First, count the octopuses in the blue box.

Then, count the octopuses in the yellow box.

Finally, count all the octopuses in both the blue and yellow boxes to get the answer!

• Building equations.

Hints

Write the equation like this:

? + ? = ?

To find the first number in the equation, count the octopuses in the blue box.

4 + ? = ?

Next, let's find the second number in the equation.

Count the octopuses in the yellow box. Put this number after the +.

4 + 9 = ?

Now count how many octopuses there are in the green box. This number comes last, after the =.

Follow these same steps to solve the other problems!

Solution

4 + 9 = 13

The number of jellyfish should be the same on both sides of every equation.

So, in the first picture, you can count 4 jellyfish in the blue box and 9 jellyfish in the yellow box.

We separate these numbers with a +.

The number of octopuses in the green box is 13. It comes last, after the =.

Check your work. There should be 13 octopuses in the green box AND 13 octopuses altogether in the blue and yellow boxes.

7 + 4 = 11

Count the jellyfish in the blue box. There are 7 jellyfish, so 7 is the first number in the equation.

Next, comes the +.

Then, count how many jellyfish are in the yellow box. There are 4 jellyfish in the yellow box. Put this number next in the equation.

Then comes the =.

Finally, we count the 11 jellyfish in the green box. This number tells you how many jellyfish there are in total. It comes last, after the equals sign.

8 + 2 = 10

In the third picture, you can count 8 jellyfish in the blue box and 2 jellyfish in the yellow box. Altogether there are 10 jellyfish.

We can also count 10 jellyfish in the green box. So 10 comes after the = in the equation.