Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Word Problems, and supports the standard of representing and solving multi-step word problems using the four operations. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What do you think is the first step to solving a word problem?
  • What do you like about word problems? What do you dislike? 


  • Read the description on the Word Problems topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Real Life” or “Q&A.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Word Problems Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about word problems while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a movie about a real-life problem that answers this question: How could you solve this like a word problem
  • Make-a-Map: Analyze the text of a word problem by identifying which operations to use based on key words and details. Then, solve the problem. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a word problem and challenge a classmate to solve it.

More to Explore

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of operations and algebraic thinking with these topics: Order of Operations, Problem Solving Using Tables, Equations with Variables, and Two-Step Equations

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments