Lesson 11

How Do You Solve Story Problems?

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to represent and solve story problems involving addition and subtraction within 50 that require composing or decomposing a ten when adding or subtracting by place.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students interpreted and solved story problems within 100 that did not require decomposing a ten when subtracting by place. Students interpreted diagrams and equations with unknowns and connected them to story problems.
In this lesson, students are encouraged to use the methods and representations that make the most sense to them as they solve problems of different types. The activities in this lesson can be used to assess how students make sense of different types of story problems and the methods they use to solve them.
  • Engagement
  • MLR2

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Represent and solve story problems within 50 in a way that makes sense to them.

Student Facing

  • Let’s solve story problems.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

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

Teacher Reflection Questions

Reflect on how comfortable your students are asking questions of you and of each other. What can you do to encourage students to ask and answer questions from their peers about their work?

Suggested Centers

  • Target Numbers (1–5), Stage 5: Subtract Two-digit Numbers (Addressing)
  • Capture Squares (1–3), Stage 4: Subtract within 20 (Addressing)
  • Shake and Spill (K–2), Stage 5: Cover (up to 20) (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Additional Resources

Google Slides

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PowerPoint Slides

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