Lesson 18
Diagrams and Equations for Word Problems
Lesson Purpose
Lesson Narrative
In grade 2, students interpreted tape diagrams for one and twostep problems involving addition and subtraction. Earlier this year, they did the same with onestep word problems involving multiplication. They also learned that a question mark, a blank line, or a box could be used to represent an unknown quantity in an equation.
In this lesson, students connect tape diagrams and equations with a symbol standing for the unknown quantity to twostep word problems. The work of this lesson prepares students to write equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity and solve twostep problems, using a diagram if it helps them.
 Engagement
 MLR8
Learning Goals
Teacher Facing
 Relate diagrams and equations to twostep word problems.
Student Facing
 Let’s connect diagrams and equations to situations.
Required Materials
Materials to Gather
Materials to Copy
 Card Sort: Situations, Equations, and Diagrams
Required Preparation
Activity 1:
 Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 4.
Lesson Timeline
Warmup  10 min 
Activity 1  15 min 
Activity 2  20 min 
Lesson Synthesis  10 min 
Cooldown  5 min 
Teacher Reflection Questions
Students previously used tape diagrams to represent and solve onestep addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems. How are they leveraging that knowledge in this lesson on twostep problems?
Suggested Centers
 Tic Tac Round (3–5), Stage 1: Nearest Ten or Hundred (Addressing)
 Number Puzzles: Addition and Subtraction (1–4), Stage 5: Within 1,000 (Addressing)
 Five in a Row: Multiplication (3–5), Stage 2: Factors 1–9 (Supporting)
Print Formatted Materials
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Additional Resources
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