Lesson Plan

Word Problem Vocabulary Preparation

Prepare your ELs for word problems involving income and money in this vocabulary-based lesson. Use this lesson on its own or as support to the lesson Multi-Step Word Problems.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Multi-Step Word Problems lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Multi-Step Word Problems lesson plan.



Students will be able to understand key vocabulary to help solve multi-step word problems.


Students will be able explain the meaning of new vocabulary using graphic organizers and peer supports.


(5 minutes)
Graphic Organizer Template: Frayer ModelVocabulary Cards: Word Problem Vocabulary PreparationGlossary: Word Problem Vocabulary PreparationTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Ask students how much income they earn, or get every day. Allow them to think for a moment and then share their answers with partners. Listen for their answers and write them on the board.
  • Begin a word map with the word income in the middle and ask students to define the term. Display the vocabulary cards and read the meaning. Have students choral read the word and allow them to adjust their previous answers about how much income they earn.
  • Draw a line out from the word income and write "earnings" and circle it. Ask volunteers to share ideas about how they, or someone they know, gets earnings from work they do. Have volunteers share aloud their answers.
  • Display the vocabulary card earn and define it. Start a sub-bubble from the oval "earnings" and write the definition in the new bubble for the word "earn."
  • Say a word problem using the words "income" and "earn." For example, "Santi earns $30 every week delivering newspapers. He saved all his money for four weeks. How much money does he have total?" Have students tell you which words are the keywords in the problem (e.g., "earn," "save," "total," "four weeks," etc.).
  • Tell students that today they'll learn about the meanings of words relating to money and income to help them answer word problems in future lessons.