Lesson 11
How Do You Solve Story Problems?
Warmup: What Do You Know About Story Problems? (10 minutes)
Narrative
Launch
 Display the question.
 “What do you know about story problems?”
 1 minute: quiet think time
Activity
 Record responses.
 As needed, ask:
 “What are some ways you can show what happens in a story problem?”
Student Facing
Student Response
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Activity Synthesis
 “Today we are going to solve different types of story problems and share the different ways we represent and solve them.”
Activity 1: How Many Seeds? (20 minutes)
Narrative
The purpose of this activity is for students to solve a story problem in a way that makes sense to them. Students solve a Compare, Difference Unknown problem within 50 that requires composing or decomposing a ten if students add or subtract by place. During the synthesis, students describe and compare how they used tools, diagrams, and equations in different ways to make sense of and solve the problem (MP2, MP3, MP5).
Students may represent or solve the problem with any method that makes sense to them. Monitor and select students with the following methods to share during the synthesis:
 use connecting cubes or baseten blocks to represent the problem as a comparison
 use a tape diagram to represent the problem
 use baseten blocks to show adding or subtracting by place
 use a baseten diagram to show adding or subtracting by place
 use an equation(s) to show adding or subtracting by place
Advances: Conversing, Reading
Required Materials
Materials to Gather
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Give students access to connecting cubes and baseten blocks.
 “Has anyone ever seen seeds? Where have you seen them? Where can they be found?”
 Share responses.
Activity
 “Diego and Jada gathered seeds to plant. You can use the connecting cubes, baseten blocks, or other representations to help make sense of the problem and solve it. Be prepared to explain your thinking.”
 6 minutes: independent work time
 As students work, consider asking:
 “What do you need to find to answer the question? How do you know?”
 “How did you show Diego’s seeds?”
 “How did you show Jada’s seeds?”
 “How will you find the difference?”
 “Now compare your method with your partner. How are your methods the same? How are they different?”
 2 minutes: partner discussion
Student Facing

Diego gathered 42 orange seeds. Jada gathered 16 apple seeds. How many more seeds did Diego gather than Jada? Show your thinking.
Student Response
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Advancing Student Thinking
 “What does the story problem ask you to find?”
 “How does your work show how many more seeds Diego used?”
 “How could you use your tools or a diagram to compare Diego and Jada’s seeds?”
Activity Synthesis
 Invite previously identified students to share their methods in the given order.
 “How are the diagrams the same? How are they different?” (The diagrams all show Diego’s and Jada’s seeds. Some diagrams show the problem and help you see the bigger amount, the smaller amount, and the difference. Some diagrams show how we added and subtracted tens and ones.)
Activity 2: The Seeds of Greatness (15 minutes)
Narrative
The purpose of this activity is for students to solve different types of story problems within 50 that may require composing or decomposing a ten when adding or subtracting by place. Students are encouraged to solve the story problems in a way that makes sense to them. The synthesis focuses on sharing the ways students made sense of and solve a Compare, Smaller Unknown problem.
Monitor for a variety of different ways students use drawings, diagrams, or equations to make sense of or solve the problems for sharing in the lesson synthesis. Look and listen for examples of ways students make sense of what they need to find, such as a tape diagram or baseten blocks, before they use methods to calculate unknown values (MP1).
Supports Accessibility for: Organization, Attention
Required Materials
Materials to Gather
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Give students access to baseten blocks.
Activity
 “Work with your partner to make sense of each story problem and solve it. Show your thinking using drawings, numbers, or words.”
 8 minutes: partner work time
 Monitor for different ways students use labels and diagrams to make sense of the last problem.
Student Facing
Solve each story problem. Show your thinking.
 Lin had 31 sunflower seeds. She gave Priya 15 seeds. How many seeds does Lin have now?
 Noah used yellow and blue corn seeds to make a design. He used 37 seeds altogether. He used 28 yellow seeds. How many blue seeds did he use?
 Elena gathered 50 pumpkin seeds. Andre collected 23 fewer pumpkin seeds than Elena. How many seeds did Andre collect?
Student Response
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Advancing Student Thinking
 “What is happening in this story?”
 “How could you work together to act out the story?”
Activity Synthesis
 Invite previously identified students to share their diagrams and labels.
 If students do not use tape diagrams to show the last problem, but represent their thinking using visually similar ways (for example, placing a row of baseten blocks above another row of baseten blocks), record these methods using a tape diagram.
 Consider asking:
 “How did your representation help you understand the story problem?” (It helped me show what was happening with the seeds in the story. It helped me show the different groups of seeds and what I needed to find.)
 “How did your representation help you solve the story problem?” (It helped me see what I needed to find and helped me think about whether I wanted to add or subtract to find the unknown value.)
Lesson Synthesis
Lesson Synthesis
Display a tape diagram, a baseten diagram, and a studentinvented diagram or drawing from the second activity.
“How are these diagrams and drawings the same? How are they different?” (They all show parts of the story problems we solved. The tape diagram shows parts of the story problem, but it doesn’t show how you add or subtract. The baseten diagram shows the parts of the story and shows how you added or subtracted.)
“Which diagrams do you find most helpful when you are trying to understand a story? Which do you use when you solve the problem?”
Cooldown: Tyler’s Seeds (5 minutes)
CoolDown
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