# Finding the Unknown Number (in Addition)

Content Finding the Unknown Number (in Addition) Rating

Ø 4.1 / 11 ratings
The authors Team Digital
Finding the Unknown Number (in Addition)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.OA.A.1

## How to Find an Unknown Number

How do you do addition with missing numbers? Sometimes when adding, there is information missing that is needed in order to solve the problem. We also call this adding with an unknown number. In this video, we learn how to find the missing addend or unknown number.

Usually, we add one part plus another part to find the whole. We also sometimes call the parts addends, and the whole, sum. But, what happens when you don't know one of the parts? How can you find the missing number in addition? When you don’t know one of the parts, it is missing. How can we find missing addends?

## Missing Number Addition – Two-Digit Numbers

Even if we are missing some parts and don’t know them, we can still use the parts, the whole, and addition to help us. In order to find the missing number, you can follow these steps:

• Start by setting up the addition equation using the plus sign
• Next, write in the numbers you know and put a question mark for the one you don't know.
• Then, count up from part one until you reach the whole. The amount of numbers we counted is the missing part!

## Missing Number Addition – Examples

Let’s practice missing numbers in equations with the example below. Mr. Squeaks has found one of his favorite snacks, carrots! He started with seven carrots and found some more. If he has sixteen carrots now, how many more carrots did he find? We can use missing number addition to help! Step # What to do
1 Start by setting up the addition
equation using the plus sign.
2 Next, write in the numbers you know and
put a question mark for the one you don't know.
3 Then, count up from part one until you reach the whole.
The amount of numbers we counted is the missing part! Following these steps, we need to count up from seven to sixteen. So, we can see that our missing number for the equation is nine!

## Finding the Unknown Number in Addition – Summary

Today we learned how to find the missing number in addition. This can be helpful when you know some parts and a whole but are missing some information in an addition equation. Remember: These are the terms for addition in math:

Term Meaning
sum The result of adding two or more numbers

Keep these steps in mind when looking for a missing number in addition:

• Start by setting up an addition equation
• Next, write in the numbers you know and put a question mark for the one you don't.
• Then, count up from part one until you reach the whole. That’s the missing number!

Want more practice on how to do missing number addition within the numbers 1-20? Take a look at the interactive exercises, worksheets, and activities on missing numbers in addition for 1st grade at the end of this video.

## Finding the Unknown Number (in Addition) exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Finding the Unknown Number (in Addition) .
• ### Where do the parts and wholes belong?

Hints

Remember, the parts together make the whole.

Solution

An equation is made of parts that equal a whole. We add all the parts together, which make the whole.

• ### What is the unknown number?

Hints

Remember, start at the part known and count up until you reach the whole.

Next, figure out how many numbers you counted up. That is the missing part.

Solution

The unknown number is 7.

We start at 5, and count up until 12.

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. That's 7 numbers that we counted up.

• ### Fill in the equation and find the missing number.

Hints

Remember, the whole is the sum of the parts.

Remember, start at the part known and count up until you reach the whole.

Next, figure out how many numbers you counted up. That is the missing part.

Solution

The parts (4 + 8 or 8 + 4) are added to equal the whole (12). The missing number is 4, since 8 + 4 = 12 or 4 + 8 = 12.

• ### Match the unknown number.

Hints

Remember, the two parts are on the top, and the whole is on the bottom, like this example.

Count on from one part until you reach the whole to find the unknown number.

Solution

We found the matching pairs by understanding that part + part = whole.

• ### What's the correct equation to find the unknown number?

Hints

Remember, start with the numbers you know. Write an equation on your own using the part and whole provided.

Think about where the question mark should go in the equation. Is it a part of the equation, or the whole?

Solution

The correct equation is 6 + ? = 12. We know one part is 6, and the whole is 12, so we add a question mark where the unknown number is.

If we were to solve for the ?, we would count up from 6 until 12. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. We count up 6 numbers, so the unknown number is 6! 6 + 6 = 12.

• ### Select the unknown number.

Hints

Remember, find the missing number by counting up from the part to the whole.

Look at this number sentence: 7 + ___ = 14. To find the missing part, we count up from 7 until we reach 14. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. How many numbers did we count on? That is our missing part.

Solution

We find the missing number by counting up from one part until we get to the whole. For example, in the number sentence 9 + ___ = 14, we start from 9, and count up until we reach 14. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. We counted up 5 numbers, we we matched this number sentence to the 5!