Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Double This

Mary Myers


Does doubled mean to multiply? Does quotient mean subtraction or division? This activity will provide students practice in changing verbal expression to algebraic equations.


The student translates verbal expressions into algebraic expressions.


- Each student will need a pencil and piece of paper
- 3x5 Cards of key words of mathematical operations for every student in your class
- One sentence strip per student with one verbal expression written on each strip
- White board and markers
- Four poster papers for mathematical operations
- Understanding key words and their meanings of mathematical operations (See Associated File)
- Checklist (See Associated File)


1. Gather materials for this activity.
2. Make copies of worksheet, Understanding key words and their meanings of mathematical operations and checklist (one for each student).
3. Make 3x5 cards of key words of mathematical operations (one term per card.)
4. Hang poster paper with titles of mathematical operations.
5. Stick double sided tape on poster paper for students to place their key words.
6. Make sentence strips of verbal expressions.
7. Prepare board area to list the four mathematical operations.


Every student has been exposed to the word variable and constant from a previous lesson. The students have also learned the proper way in writing an expression for each operation. (Example: 5X)

1. As the students enter the room hand them a 3x5 card of key mathematical words.

2. Inform the students that they will be learning how to write an algebraic expression from a verbal expression.

3. Ask each student to read the word on the card and decide which mathematical operation to use when this word is included in a algebraic expression.

4. One at a time, have each student read his/her key word and place it on the correct poster paper matching the word to the mathematical operation.

5. Correct students as needed.

6. Discuss with students that these words are found in most algebraic equations.

7. Hand out sentence strips to each student. (If you have tables, place enough strips on each table for each student.)

8. Have the students read their sentence strips and decide which operation they would use in their expression.

9. Have each student place their sentence strip on the white board under the corresponding mathematical operation. Use magnets to hold sentence strips.

10. Point out to the students the key words in each expression and have children check the board for any mistakes that might have been made.

11. Discuss any misconceptions at this time.

12. Inform the students that they will now choose four expressions from the board from each mathematical operation and write an algebraic equation. Remind the students that they must have: Four for each operation, they must write the multiplication problems using no operational symbol with the constant coming first, they must write the division problems as a fraction the correct way, and make sure when writing their algebraic expression they use the correct variable written in each verbal expression. Give examples of each requirement as you go over them.

13. Hand out the checklist that will be used to assess their knowledge of this material. Read the checklist to the class and answer any questions. Tell students that you will circulate as they work and then come around when they finish to check their completed work.

14. Choose one verbal expression from the board to do as an example for the class.

15. As students are getting started on their assignment, hand out the worksheet on mathematical key words for them to use as a reference and to keep in their math folders.

*ESE students will be required to do only two problems per operation.


Students translate four verbal expressions from the board, into algebraic expressions onto their papers. Each student must translate four expressions for each mathematical operation. A checklist will be used to assess students knowledge.

Observe to make sure the students:
1. Write the algebraic expression using the correct variable written in each verbal expression.
2. Write the multiplication problems using no operational symbol with the constant coming before the variable
3. Write the division problems as a fraction.
4. Use the correct mathematical operation in their algebraic expression.

Attached Files

Worksheet Understanding Key Words and Their Meanings of Mathematical Operations.     File Extension: pdf

Checklist.     File Extension: pdf

Examples of verbal expressions.     File Extension: pdf

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