35) Section 1 – Subtraction

Bonds of 6, 7, 8, 9: Building a Wall – Taking Away

35.1 Subtraction Building A Wall

Activity Support Materials

ppw desk visuals 6, 7,8,9


Choose 6, 7, 8 or 9 as the whole. The following activity notes use 7 as the whole.

Develop the concept of subtraction solved using take away.

  • Verbalise the subtraction equation for a whole, take away a part, equals a part.

Whole – Part = Part

  • Verbalise the subtraction equation for a whole, take away an unknown part, equals a known part.

Whole – Unknown Part = Known  Part


  • part-part-whole
  • known part
  • unknown part
  • subtraction solved using “taking away” 
  • “(Whole) take away (part moved) equals (part remains).
  • (Whole) take away (unknown part hidden by partner) equals (known part remaining).”

Click this link to read Teacher Notes for more information about about “Solving Subtraction Using Taking Away or Adding On”.


Core activity

A note on zero

When taking away, players can choose to take away the whole or zero. For example,

taking away seven.

taking away zero.

A little easier

Part-Part-Whole diagrams

Click to download the relevant “Part-Part-Whole Desk Visual”. Place these next to students, for them to refer to, whilst completing the activity. 

  • Begin playing with the part-part-whole diagrams face up.
  • As the student’s confidence with the bond increases turn the cards face down. The player can turn cards over to check the bond as needed.
  • Cut off and discard bonds the student is fluent with.

These diagrams can be useful supports for students with memory or processing difficulties. 

Click this link to read Teacher Notes for more ideas about “Using Part-Part-Whole Desk Visuals” to support students.

A little harder

Slightly greater whole

Students who have completed activities using Ten Plus Bonds can complete Activity 35 for wholes slightly greater than 10 such as 11 an 13. 


In the next activity students repeat subtraction with a bond wall, but use adding on to solve subtraction, instead of taking away. Go to

Activity 35ii

Bonds of 6, 7, 8, 9: Subtraction, Building a Wall