Lesson Plan

Express Yourself!

Help your students create a basis for future math classes with this lesson that teaches children about math expressions and how they can interpret them.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Writing About Math Expressions pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Writing About Math Expressions pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will interpret numerical expressions without solving them and write simple expressions.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(5 minutes)
Welcome to Mummy's MarketExpress YourselfMultiply It!
  • Review the commutative property of multiplication and the order of operations.
  • Teach students that expressions are a series of numbers and symbols, such as +, -, x, and ÷, without an equal sign.
  • Write the expression 5 (4 + 3) on the board.
  • Tell students that when that expression is worked out it is called an evaluation of the expression.
  • The expression equals 35, therefore 5 (4 + 3)= 35 is the equation.
  • Tell students that the expression 5 (4 + 3) is 5 times larger than the expression (4 + 3).
  • Let students know that today they are going to evaluate the relationship between expressions and write their own expressions to evaluate.


  • Allow students to use their home language (L1) or new language (L2) in their discussions.
  • Define words, such as "commutative property," "order of operations," etc.
  • Have them state the definitions in their L1 or L2.


  • Write the academic language they can use throughout the lesson on the board as you introduce the language (e.g., "commutative property," "order of operations," "double," "times," "half," etc.).
  • Have students rephrase some of the definitions and draw a visual to represent new terms.

Related Guided Lesson

Expressions and Equations

2 games
5 online exercises
5 printable worksheets
fifth grade
Subject Math