Lesson 12

Story Problems and Diagrams

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to solve story problems of different problem types within 100. Students interpret tape diagrams and connect them to different types of story problems.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students solved different story problems within 50 and compared different diagrams and methods. Students interpreted and used tape diagrams to represent Compare story problems.

The problems in this lesson include some of the more challenging types (for example, Add To, Start Unknown). Students are introduced to tape diagrams as a way to represent the known and unknown quantities in Add To and Put Together / Take Apart problem types. Students are encouraged to find the unknown values in the way that makes the most sense to them. Students have opportunities to practice composing and decomposing a ten when using strategies based on adding or subtracting by place.  

  • Engagement

Activity 1: Interpret the Diagram

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Make sense of diagrams that represent story problems.
  • Solve one-step story problems within 100.

Student Facing

  • Let’s make sense of diagrams and solve story problems.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Card Sort Story Problem and Diagram Cards

Required Preparation

Activity 2:

  • Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 2.
  • The sets of cards will be used again in the next lesson.

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

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

How does matching the story problems to tape diagrams help students understand the relationship between the known and unknown quantities in a story problem? How will the work of today's lesson help students interpret and use equations to represent story problems?

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)

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Additional Resources

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