Working Out Word Problems

Author: Marah Bates
Lesson Plan:


Unit: Math- Problem Solving

Grade: Second

Number of Students: 27



GOAL: For students to use keywords and manipulatives to help solve word problems.


OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to:

  • Identify key words in math word problems
  • Solve math word problems using key words




Math  Standard # 3: Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in real-world settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry.



  • Distinguish between addition and subtraction
  • Add and Subtract



  • Word Problems
  • Highlighters
  • Smartboard (visual representations of each problem)




1. Teacher will explain that today we will be working on our problem solving skills. Describe how they will be detectives looking for key words.

2. Together the class will review the key words that represent the operations of addition and subtraction and create a class poster.

3. Students will read aloud the first problem displayed on the Smartboard.

4. Teacher will model the underlining (highlighting) of the key words and writing the number sentence.

5. Students will work to solve the problem.

6.  Students will go through each problem one at a time.

7. After the students work on an answer, one student is selected to come up to the Smartboard. There will be a virtual representation of the word problem. Then student will move the objects to represent the problem (addition or subtraction) and write the out the number sentence and solve the problem.

8. Students will complete an exit card at the completion of the lesson to check understanding of the lesson.




  • Illustrations can be used to solve equations
  • Manipulatives such as pop cubes can be used to represent concepts as well




  • Teacher Observation
  • Student participation
  • Exit Card


Extension Activity:

  • Students will work in groups to create word problems on the computer and then post them on our class web page.