Lesson Plan

Multi-Step Word Problems

Freshen up your understanding of multi-step word problems! Use this lesson to help students use problem-solving thought processes to solve multi-step word problems.
Download lesson plan
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Word Problem Vocabulary Preparation pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Word Problem Vocabulary Preparation pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use problem-solving thought processes to help solve multi-step word problems.

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


(5 minutes)
Can I Afford It?Long Division Word ProblemsDivision: Word Problems (Part One)Word Problems: Divide & Check
  • Write the following problem on the board and ask students to solve the problem in pairs on scrap paper: "Alexis lines up his jelly beans so that he creates an array with 4 jelly beans vertically and 6 jelly beans horizontally. Then, he adds 10 more to the total amount of jelly beans. How many jelly beans does he have in total?"
  • Choose students to share their answers and how they solved the problem. Highlight the question they answered, the equations they used, and the important information and keywords as you jot down notes on the board from their explanations.
  • Have students discuss what they had to do first in the problem (i.e., 4 x 6) and then the next step (i.e., 24 + 10). Choose students that have drawings that represent their answers. Have them show their work and explain their drawings.
  • Tell students today they'll review how to solve multi-step word problems by rephrasing the question, drawing a picture, and labeling important information for each question.


  • Allow students to use their home language (L1) or new language (L2) in their discussions.
  • Use visuals as you read the word problem. Have students talk to their partners about what the problem is asking them to do before they try to solve it on their own.


  • Write the academic language students can use throughout the lesson on the board as you introduce the language.
  • Provide sentence frames and key terms.
  • Write down the student presenter's explanation to serve as modeled phrases for future explanations throughout the lesson.