Systems of Equations Activities

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Systems of equations can be confusing for students, especially when they are abstract. Help your students understand them better with these fun systems of equations activities.

Systems of Equations Activities

Systems of equations are simple when you truly understand how equations work and what they mean, but can be incredibly hard to understand when students first see them. We need to give students a lot of time to focus on the topic as they figure out how to deal with them. To keep this process engaging and fun, we can include activities in our instruction. Here are a few ideas for activities that can be used to teach systems of equations.

Story-Based Systems of Equations

Systems of equations are particularly baffling to young students when they are abstract. One way to make them more understandable is to apply them to real-life situations, and show students why you might have two equations for the same thing. The more we reinforce this the better. For this activity, give students a series of systems of equations to solve presented through a story. Have students extract the equations from the story, rather than being given them directly.

After students have practiced systems of equations this way, you can reverse the process. Have pairs of students write their own stories to present systems of equations, and then provide the solutions for them. You can even use this to create a review worksheet, where students answer questions created by other members of the class.

Systems of Equations Methods Posters

There are several different methods for solving systems of equations. They can be solved graphically by plotting two lines and seeing where they meet. They can be solved through substitution, by substituting one equation into the other. Or they can be solved by elimination, by adding or subtracting the two equations to eliminate one of the variables.

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