EL Support Lesson
Solving Perimeter Word Problems
Students will be able to find the perimeter of various polygons by adding the sides or measuring with a ruler.
Students will be able to analyze the meaning of perimeter word problems and make a plan to solve them using a graphic organizer.
- Give each student an index card and have them write their name on it and write the number one in the top left corner. Tell them that they are going to demonstrate their understanding of a concept by drawing a picture.
- Write the word perimeter on the board and instruct learners to draw a definition of perimeter without using words. Allow them to use numbers to support their visual explanation.
- Instruct students to turn and talk about their drawing with a partner and listen to student conversations to check for understanding. Call on nonvolunteers to share what they talked about with their partner.
- Collect the index cards. They will be passed out to students at the end of the lesson.
- Tell the class that they will be solving perimeter word problems today using a strategy and a graphic organizer to help them make sure they understand what the word problem is asking.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(8 minutes)
- Display the Vocabulary Cards, one-by-one, to teach the tiered words to the class. Say each word aloud and have students repeat it. Then, read the definitions and have students repeat the definitions aloud. Ask students to discuss the images they see on the Vocabulary Cards and how they connect to the definitions. Provide sentence stems to support conversation, such as "The image shows ____."
- Tell the class that they will be solving perimeter word problems today, and that it is important to have strong comprehension of the word problem before beginning the mathematical operations to find an answer.
- Share the steps to follow when solving word problems by writing them on the board for reference throughout the lesson or creating an anchor chart on chart paper:
- 1 - Read the whole problem.
- 2 - Circle clue words and numbers.
- 3 - Make a model.
- 4 - Solve the problem.
- Remind students how to find the perimeter of a polygon. Explain that, to find the perimeter of a polygon, we add up the lengths of all of the sides.
- Model how to find the perimeter in the following word problem by first reading it aloud and displaying it on the document camera: "My neighbors and I are building a community garden and we need to get enough wood to create the box that outlines the garden. If the length of two of the sides is 12 feet each and the length of two of the sides is 8 feet each, how much wood do I need?"
- Think aloud about the clue words and numbers (outlines, length, two of the sides, 12 feet, length, two of the sides, 8 feet) by asking yourself, "What information is really important for me to know in order to solve this problem?"
- Draw a rectangle and label the sides according to the word problem. Think aloud about finding the perimeter, and write the following expression and answer on the board: 12 + 12 + 8 + 8 = 40 feet.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Display a copy of the Word Problem Comprehension Chart and explain that this tool will help support us as we work through word problems. Using this will help us focus our thinking as we solve complicated word problems.
- Distribute a copy of the worksheet to each student, and review the sections of the graphic organizer. Call on students to rephase the purpose of each section, and provide sentence stems to support their explanation. For example, "In this section of the graphic organizer, I will put ____."
- Display the first word problem from the worksheet entitled Word Problems: Perimeter and pass out a copy of the worksheet to each student.
- Guide the class in working together to complete the graphic organizer with information to ensure comprehension. Lead students through reading the word problem three times aloud, each with a different focus according to the graphic organizer. Provide the following sentence stems for students to use for each section as they are sharing their thoughts about what information to record about the problem:
- In this word problem ____.
- The keywords that help me are ____.
- To solve this problem, I plan to ____.
- Instruct students to turn and talk with a shoulder partner about the answer to the problem. Remind them to use the four steps for solving word problems to help them through steps three and four in the process.
- Call on students to share an answer in a complete sentence. Provide a sentence frame, such as "Yung needs ____ feet of rope."
Group work time(10 minutes)
- Divide the class into small groups and tell them that they will each receive one word problem to work on. Then, they will explain their process to the rest of the class.
- Assign each group one of the remaining word problems from the Word Problems: Perimeter worksheet.
- Display the following steps for students to reference throughout their group work time:
- First Read: What is happening in the problem? Focus on words, not numbers!
- Second Read: Look for the keywords. What are the keywords that help you decide which operation to use?
- Third Read: What is your plan for solving this problem?
- Circulate and support them as they follow the process, discuss, and complete the graphic organizer.
- Have groups share their problem and graphic organizers with the rest of the class.
Additional EL adaptations
- Allow access to reference materials in home language (L1).
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
- Provide a word bank of key terms and phrases for students to use in group and class discussions.
- Group students intentionally based on academic and language needs.
- Pre-teach unfamiliar words from the word problems to students prior to this lesson.
- Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
- Have students describe their math processes without relying on the sentence stems/frames.
- Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
- Put students in mixed ability groups so they can offer explanations and provide feedback to beginning ELs when appropriate.
- Pass out the index cards from the Introduction of the lesson to students. Make sure each student has their own, and instruct them to flip it over to the blank side. Have them write a number two on the top left corner.
- Instruct students to revise their explanation of perimeter by creating a visual. Tell them that this time, they may add words, numbers, and sentences to support their explanation. Share that this side of the index card is going to show how well they understand the concept of perimeter, so they should be sure to include all they know about the concept.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Ask students to share their experience with the strategy of reading the problem three times and completing the graphic organizer. Provide sentence stems/frames to support their sharing, such as:
- I liked/disliked the strategy because ____.
- The strategy was helpful/not helpful because ____.
- I'm still not sure how I feel about the strategy because ____.
- Remind learners that, when solving perimeter word problems, the three reads strategy and graphic organizer will help them make sure they understand what the word problem is asking. When they understand what the word problem is asking, they are better able to solve it correctly.