Lesson: Solving Problems with Variables

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Lesson Objective

Students will solve 4/5 equations that contain a variable

Lesson Plan


 4AF1.1 Use letters, boxes, or other symbols to stand for any number in simple expressions or equations (e.g., demonstrate an understanding and the use of the concept of a variable).


Lesson Procedures--


Teacher write problem on board: 3 + _____ = 5

Teacher asks: What is the missing number?

Teacher then takes out the blank space and puts a letter.  Teacher: In algebra, we use symbols or letters to represent numbers we do not know.  If I place a letter here does it change the answer?  Is it still a two? 

Teacher draws a smily face in the blank spot in the equation above.

Teacher: Has your answer changed?  Is the answer still a 2?

Teacher:  This is called a variable.  A variable represents an unknown number.

Students Choral Repeat Vocabulary


  1. Teacher passes out Variable Worksheet. 
  2. Teacher models completing the first problem while students copy. 
  3. Teacher has students help teacher with the second and third problems.
  4. Students work independently on worksheet for 10 mins
  5. After 10 mins correct as a class using students to present their answers and reasoning.
  6. After corrections administer exit ticket.



Teaching Reflection

     This was a very engaging lesson for the students because it was the introduction to algebra which is math they associated with middle school so they enjoy learning about what they consider to be older math. 


      On the variable worksheet, the first section has equations in very large font.  This was so that I could demonstrate solving the problems with number tiles.  Each table group was given number tiles to complete equations.

Lesson Resources

Variables Exit Ticket.docx  
Variables Worksheet.docx  
Number Tiles


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