Solving One-Step Equations Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Solving one-step equations may sound simple, but for many students they're a challenge. Teach how words translate words into a math problem with clear steps and several examples. Finish up with an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • solve one-step equations
  • write one-step word problems
  • define key vocabulary


  • 1 hour


  • Index cards

Key Vocabulary

  • Translating
  • Equation
  • Keywords

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.4.OA.A.2

Multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem, distinguishing multiplicative comparison from additive comparison.

  • CCSS.Math.Content.4.OA.A.3

Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.


  • Engage students with the content by having them finish the sentence 'Word problems make me feel….' Share and discuss answers.
  • Tell students many people have anxiety and struggle with word problems, but today they'll learn some methods of being word-problem solving professionals. Start the video lesson Defining, Translating, & Solving One-Step Equations.
  • Pause at 2:11. Create a chart in which to put the five keywords and their clues. Have students copy into notebooks or onto paper. Discuss:
    • What does an '=' sign signify?
    • How do you know when to multiply?
    • Which keywords signal subtraction?
  • Ask students to use the keywords in mathematical sentences. Answer any questions, then restart the video.
  • As the lesson plays, instruct students to work the examples with the video. Pause if necessary to allow students to catch up or perform operations before the answer is given.
  • Pause at 5:03. Have students explain to you or a partner the steps to solving a one-step equation using keywords.
  • Discuss and answer questions.
  • Play the Lesson Summary and allow students to complete note-taking.

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