EL Support Lesson
Making Story Problems
Students will be able to represent and solve addition word problems using objects.
Students will be able to explain how to solve an addition word problem by acting with objects.
- Gather the students together for the start of the lesson.
- Using objects, tell a story problem about the classroom. For example, "I have three pencils, and you have two pencils, how many pencils do we have in all?"
- Say, "In math we call this a story problem. Today we are going to practice solving lots of story problems!"
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Write up a standard addition equation such as 2 + 1 = 3. Review the definition of an equation as a math number sentence. Review strategies students might use when solving addition equations (e.g., counting, drawing, and using a number line).
- Tell an additional story problem using objects.
- Model how to solve the problem by counting the objects and use a number line to show one strategy of keeping track of amounts when counting.
- Show students how to write a corresponding equation for your story problem and practice reading the equation aloud.
Guided Practice(5 minutes)
- Tell a story problem to the class, "I have six crayons and then I found four more crayons in my desk. How many crayons do I have in all?"
- Put the students in pairs and provide each pair with a box of crayons. Ask the students to solve the problem in their group.
- Gather back together and have students share out how they solved the problem. Highlight different strategies (e.g,. moving the crayons, using a number line, counting aloud, etc.).
- Model how to use drawings to show the word problem on paper.
- Write up the corresponding equation 6 + 4 = 10 and have students practice reading it aloud.
Group work time(15 minutes)
- Explain that students will now get to create their own story problem using objects from the classroom (provide a variety for students to choose from) using the steps below.
- Choose objects.
- Tell the story.
- Draw a picture to show the problem.
- Trade with your partner to solve solve the problem and write an equation.
- Pair students together and then send them to work.
Additional EL adaptations
- Allow students to count in their home language (L1).
- Work with students in a small group to design and act out story problems.
- Practice identifying the parts of the story problem with the students.
- Invite students to act out more complicated story problems.
- Ask students to explain how to solve the problem with a partner.
- Have students write down their steps and share out.
- Collect work samples to assess if students are able to solve story problems using drawings and objects.
- Take anecdotal notes of students discussions as they work to target additional support as needed.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Gather students together.
- Tell the class a story problem.
- Pass out whiteboards and markers and have students turn and talk to a partner to solve the problem using their whiteboards.