Lesson Plan

Deciphering Division Word Problems

Word problems present an additional challenge for English learners. This division lesson gives them a concrete strategy to decipher word problems. Teach it on its own or prior to teaching Division Word Problems.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Division Word Problems lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Division Word Problems lesson plan.



Students will be able to identify key division terms in word problems to help solve long division problems with one-digit divisors.


Students will be able to understand and explain division word problems using the Three Reads strategy and a graphic organizer.


(4 minutes)
Word Problem Comprehension ChartDivision Word Problem CardsVocabulary Cards: Deciphering Division Word ProblemsGlossary: Deciphering Division Word ProblemsTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Read aloud the following word problem to students and project it on the document camera: A parent in our school has an orange orchard. She wants to donate some of her oranges to the school. She has 198 oranges to distribute equally amongst 9 classrooms. How many oranges will each class receive?
  • Ask students if there are any unknown words in the problem and if so, provide student-friendly definitions and examples of the terms.
  • Have students turn to a table mate to discuss their understanding of the word problem and consider possible ways of solving it.
  • Affirm students' responses and guide them to the understanding that it is a division problem. Model how to solve this problem (198 oranges divided by 9 classes is equal to 22 oranges per class).