Fun With Ms Subtract

Topic : Introduction to subtraction

One day, Cirha was playing in the garden. Suddenly, she spots a bright and shining object in the bushes.

Cirha is curious. She runs near the bushes to find out what it is. “Wow! It looks like a gadget”, she says.

As she grabs the mysterious object, it vanishes in the air and says, “I am Ms Subtract – a Math gadget. I make things disappear by
taking them away. Remember, to make anything disappear, you need to tell me the correct answer of how many will remain in the end”, and it settles back in Cirha’s hand.

Cirha always wanted to make things disappear without touching them. “Now that I have Ms Subtract, I can fulfil my wish”, she claims. She is delighted and decides to try the gadget on some stones.

She rolls the gadget in the air and says, “Ms Subtract! Take away 6 stones from the group of 10, only 1 stone remains. Go!”

But nothing happens! She counts the stones to cross-check whether the gadget worked or not. But they are still the same
10 stones.

Cirha does not give up. She tries again, “Ms Subtract! Take away 6 stones from the bunch of 10, only 2 stones remain. Go!”
None of the stones disappears. She is disappointed.

Uncle Math is stressed. He is searching for something. Suddenly, he spots Cirha and screams “My gadget! My gadget! I have been
looking for it since morning. Where did you find it?” She quickly narrates the morning scene and her struggles with the gadget.

Uncle Math decides to help. “Ms Subtract is not working because your answer is wrong Cirha”, he says. “Here are your 10 stones. If
I take away 6, how many remain?” he questions. “4” answers Cirha.

“Correct! This method of taking away one or more things is called Subtraction. We show subtraction using the “-” minus
symbol. So, we say 10 stones minus 6 stones is equal to 4 stones”, explains Uncle Math.

“Ohh! Now I get it”, says Cirha. She understands subtraction and is ready to use the gadget. This time she tries it on some
empty pots. “Ms Subtract! Take away 4 pots out of 7, only 3 remain. Go!” The pots disappear. Cirha jumps out of joy.

“Well done Cirha! Let us make people disappear now”, suggests Uncle Math. “No! People might get hurt. How can I hurt anyone?”
she says. “I do not get you. If your gadget works, then everybody will like you. You will be famous. How is this hurting anyone?” he

“Definitely. But if I try this gadget on innocent people for fun, then it would be selfish”, she answers. Uncle Math proudly
says, “I wanted to test you to see if you would misuse any of your superpowers, and I got my answer”. Cirha smiles and
continues her experiments.

When the gadget became Cirha’s superpower, she decided to use it only for learning without hurting anyone. With great
power comes great responsibility. Indeed beautiful gesture, beautiful subtraction and beautiful Cirha.

We Learnt That…

  • The method of taking away one or more things is called Subtraction. 
  • Subtraction is denoted using the “ “ Minus symbol. 
  • We should never misuse our powers. 
  • We should not be selfish, but empathetic towards others. 
  • With great power comes great responsibility.

Let’s Discuss

  • What was the name of the gadget? 
  • How did Uncle Math help Cirha in using the gadget? 
  • Cirha did not try the gadget on people. Does this make her good or bad? Why? Explain.
  • Ms Subtract became Cirha’s superpower. What type of superpower would you wish for? Why?