Summary: Translate verbal expressions to algebraic expressions
Main Curriculum Tie: Mathematics Grade 6 Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions. 2. Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers. Materials:
Attachments
Background For Teachers: Enduring Understanding (Big
Ideas):
Algebraic expressions can
represent words
Essential Questions:
 How does the result change when the value of the
variable is changed?
 What words or symbols indicate which operation?
 How can mathematical symbols model verbal
expressions?
Skill Focus:
Write algebraic expressions for
words
Vocabulary Focus:
algebraic expressions, variable, substitute, words for
operations such as sum, difference, product and
quotient, etc.
Ways to Gain/Maintain Attention (Primacy):
Sketches, games, journaling
Instructional Procedures:
Starter:
Write an algebraic expression to model each of the following:
 For finding the next term in this
sequence:
1, 3, 9, 27…
 For finding the number of blocks in the
next row
Lesson Segment 1: How does the result change when the value of the
variable is changed?
Q. What does it man to substitute something? Tell story of making punch and
substituting salt for sugar. Q. How would the substitute change the outcome? We can
substitute value in algebraic expressions. Let’s do some mental substitution. Read
each expression and the value to substitute. Have the students stand as soon as they
know the value of the expression after the substitution.
 4m, when m = 5
 r/3
 5.5 – y
Q. In the mental problems we just did, would the value of the expression have been
the same if we had changed the substitute?
Evaluating Expressions Bingo
First: Have students arrange the numbers in their Bingo Game (see directions on
attached worksheet).
Next: Model two or three substitution problems for them. Give them time to evaluate
the expressions and write it them the square where they put their correct value. Put
the values in a bag and draw them out. Students circle the value you call out. First
one to fill any threeinarow correctly wins.
3b when:
 b = 1
 b =  4
 b = 0
2m + 3 when:
 m =  6
 m =  1
 m = ½
2(5 – X) when:
 X = 0
 X = 1
 X =  5
Lesson Segment 2: What words indicate operations? How can mathematical
symbols represent verbal expressions?
“As I have been writing these algebraic expressions in our Bingo Game for you to copy,
I have been saying these expressions with words. We need to be able to read math
expressions using words, and we need to be able to write math expressions when we
read the words.”
Write the words for and read aloud the math expressions in the Bingo game again, this
time read each using a variety of words which indicate the appropriate operation. For
example the second expression could be read:
 the product of two and a number, m, increased by three
 twice a number and three
 three more than two times m
Ask students to write the words and the expression on the back of the Bingo
worksheet. Then, have students work together with their team to think of different
ways to write and read the expression, 3b.
Do FourCorners where one person from each team goes to a designated corner to
circle up and work with others to generate a list of words that indicate an operation.
Corner 1: person 1, make a list of words that mean “add”.
Corner 2: person 2, make a list of words that mean “subtract”.
Corner 3: person 3, make a list of words that mean “multiply”.
Corner 4: person 4, make a list of words that mean “divide, and that suggest an
exponent”.
After five minutes in the corner generating a list of words, each person brings their list
back to their team to share the words. Have students list their words on the journal
page (attached).
Using the word lists and discussion, help students complete the 12 items below the lists
on the journal page.
Lesson Segment 3: Practice using a game
Copy the attached Expressions Cards as a twosided card stock page. You’ll need one
page for each group of four. Students will work with a partner to complete against an
opponent pair. Each group is given a set of Expressions Cards (attached). The cards
are shuffled and divided so that each pair gets half the cards each person taking 6
cards. Each player takes a turn showing either side of a card they choose. Their
opponents must tell what they think is on the other side of the card. If they tell
correctly (even though they may use a different word for the operation or a different
order in addition or multiplication), they get to place the card in their “Expert” pile.
Disagreements or uncertainty can be decided by the teacher. When all cards have
been shown and discussed, the pair with the most “Expert” cards win.
If needed, two players can play against one. Students should write each expression
and its matching words from the cards when they get to put them in their “Expert” pile.
Assign any additional practice or application from text as needed.
Attachments
Assessment Plan: observation, questions, game results
Bibliography: This lesson plan was created by Linda Bolin. Author: Utah LessonPlans
Created Date : Apr 22 2009 14:21 PM
