Step 1: Draw a box and write the number found after the word "than" in this box.
Step 2: Draw a dot at the top-right corner of the first box. This marks the starting point of the arrow we are about to draw next.
Step 3: Draw an arrow from the dot pointing to the left. (The arrow points to the left because it is a "less than" question.
Step 4: Since it is "less than", we are actually making the number 17 (starting number) smaller by the unknown value "?". Hence, draw a second box directly below the arrow and the first box to show that the number 17 has been shortened by the unknown value "?".
Step 5: Draw a last box next to the second box to make the model form a rectangle and write the number 13 in this box.
From the model,
17 - 13 = ?
17 - 13 = 4
Thus, the answer is 4.