Lesson Plan

Three Addend Word Problems

Support your students' understanding of word problems as they invent strategies to add three addends in any order. Use this scaffolded EL lesson plan alone or with **How'd You Get that Many?**
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the How'd You Get That Many?lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the How'd You Get That Many?lesson plan.



Students will be able to add three whole numbers whose sums are within 20.


Students will be able to make sense of and describe steps to solve story problems involving three addends using visual and partner support.


(5 minutes)
Three Addend Word ProblemsTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Write the following story problem on the board, and point to the words as you read aloud: "My friend Jenni loves to draw! Yesterday she drew seven trees, six birds and three flowers. How many things did Jenni draw in all?"
  • Review the irregular past tense verb "drew" by having students repeat after you, "Today I draw. Yesterday I drew." Gesture in the air to show drawing a picture.
  • Tell students to turn and talk to a partner about what they know about the problem without using numbers.
  • Call on students to describe the situation presented in the problem. For example, Jenni drew some things, and then she drew some more things. The problem is asking how many things Jenni drew all together.

Related Guided Lesson

Comparing Numbers 2

4 online games
1 song video
1 interactive story
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
first grade
Subject Math