Solving Word Problems with Multiple Steps Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help your students learn how to solve word problems with several steps. Students will watch a video lesson and work to solve word problems and justify their answers.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • determine which information is necessary when solving word problems
  • create and solve equations from word problems
  • explain the steps in solving word problems


This lesson will take 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context.


Create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems.


Explain each step in solving a simple equation as following from the equality of numbers asserted at the previous step, starting from the assumption that the original equation has a solution. Construct a viable argument to justify a solution method.

Materials Needed

  • Sticky notes
  • Chart paper
  • Index cards


Activate prior knowledge by displaying the following word problem:

Sam wants to buy a new car before he goes to college. His parents said they would pay for half. Sam has been comparing prices and thinks he will find the perfect college vehicle for $18,990. Sam finds a great job sacking groceries at a nearby store making $7.25 per hour. If Sam works 20 hours per week, how long will it take him to save enough money for the car?

Give students 5 minutes to solve the problem on their own and to come up with an explanation for their answer. Have students write this information on a sticky note and place it on the corner of work space.

Begin watching the video lesson Solving Word Problems with Multiple Steps. Pause after the 'Solving Word Problem Steps' at 1:08.

Provide each individual student, partnership, or team with a sheet of chart paper. Have students fold the chart paper in half and then fold it in half again. Have students label the top of each section with the following:

  1. Visualize Problem
  2. Write Equation
  3. Solve Equation
  4. Explain Answer

Continue watching part of 'A Multiple-Step Word Problem' section. Pause at the 2:16 mark. Have students refer back to the word problem about Sam's new car. In the 'Visualize Problem' section of their chart paper, have each students create and label a cartoon that clarifies what the word problem is asking and what pertinent information the word problem provides.

Give students another sticky note and 2 minutes to adjust their original solution to this problem if necessary. Have students add a note explaining any changes to their original answer. Have students keep all of their sticky notes to show progression in learning.

Continue watching the remainder of 'A Multiple-Step Word Problem' section. Pause at 3:55.

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