Lesson 12

What’s the Story?

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to ask mathematical questions and write story problems based on a given expression.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students solved story problems of all types, matched them with tape diagrams and equations, and wrote stories to match tape diagrams. In this lesson, students write story problems to match equations, ask mathematical questions based on pictures and about their environment, and write story problems based on their observations. The goal of the lesson synthesis is for students to discuss which story they liked the most of those that were shared.

  • Action and Expression
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • See math in the world around them.
  • Write story problems using expressions.

Student Facing

  • Let’s write story problems.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Story Photos

Required Preparation

Activity 2:

  • Gather a see-through container with a collection of connecting cubes (or other math tool or object that might generate different math questions) to display in the launch.
  • (Optional) Provide a copy of the blackline master for each group of 2 students.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 15 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

Which students had opportunities to share their math story problems and thinking during the whole-class discussion? How did you select these students?

Print Formatted Materials

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Student Task Statements pdf docx
Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
Blackline Masters zip

Additional Resources

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