Lesson 2

Words and Symbols

These materials, when encountered before Algebra 1, Unit 2, Lesson 2 support success in that lesson.

Lesson Narrative

The mathematical purpose of this lesson is to practice identifying and representing important information in a situation. The work of this lesson connects to previous work done in grade 6 when students learned to create algebraic expressions from verbal descriptions. In the associated Algebra 1 lesson, students create equations to model the relationships between quantities, and to represent constraints in various situations. This lesson prepares students to begin the work in the Algebra 1 lesson by allowing them to practice identifying important quantities in situations and represent them with expressions (MP2). This will help build their ability to interpret word problems before they are tasked with representing them with an equation.

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Identify key parameters and quantities in a word problem.
  • Match an expression to a verbal description.

Student Facing

  • Let’s use symbols to represent words in a math problem

Required Preparation

Print and cut up slips from the blackline master. Prepare 1 copy for every 2 students.

CCSS Standards

Building On


Building Towards