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This lesson gives students hands-on experience creating and illustrating word problems


Computers & Internet, Math  


1, 2  

Title – Word Problems and Technology
By – Joan Carrozza
Primary Subject – Math
Secondary Subjects – Computer/Internet
Grade Level – 1-2

Learning Standards:

  • Students will use, mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Summary of the Lesson:

This lesson is a hands-on math lesson that is meant to stimulate critical thinking as well as reinforce vocabulary that is necessary to be able to create and solve word problems both on paper and on the computer.

Major Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to generate and utilize a list of math vocabulary words by identifying which operations they reflect and by using them when they create their own word problems.
  2. Students will be able to ‘act-out’ a number sentence verbally, using manipulatives, with a partner.
  3. Students will be able to work cooperatively with a partner to participate in creating their own word problem and showing the work for a class book. They will first sketch out this page and then be asked to input it using the program KidPix Studio Deluxe. The students will then each need to present their word problems to the class via slideshow on KidPix Since we only have a few computers, they students will need to take turns.

Objective and its Purpose:

  • The students need these ongoing experiences in order to develop mastery of vocabulary words.
  • The students enjoy creating their own word problems and are challenged to not only use math skills, but to use language in this activity.
  • The students will also show mastery while using the program KidPix Studio Deluxe. They will be able to share these projects using the slideshow feature at the end.
  • It is important to remember that these activities focus on vocabulary and its use. This is a stepping stone for our next unit with involves larger number values.

Grade Level: Summary of the Students:

This is a small group setting of second graders that have scored low in the area of math. The focus of this group is to build skills that are necessary to understand mathematical concepts.

Related URL’s:

  • Students will have on line access to see other projects made by other classes. I am hoping to start a project on global house that will ask students to solve each others math problems.
  • Students will have samples to see how other students have completed this task. I feel that by letting them view some examples they will be able to be more creative.

Instructional Plan/Procedure:

  1. Brainstorm
    • Develop and review a list of vocabulary words that we have been learning, to use in our equations. The words will be split into to categories, addition, and subtraction. The students will be prompted to give an example to show ‘why’ the word belongs in that column. The students will brainstorm as many words as they can remember. At that point, I may hold up the remaining cards one at a time and ask a child to place it in the correct column. If the children add a word I did not have pre-printed, I will add it to the list with a dry erase marker.
  2. Warm-Up
    • Next, the children will participate in a ‘warm-up’ activity. I will model an example, assign jobs and pair the students up for the following activity.
      • Hand-out a number sentence to each group face down.
      • Place dog manipulatives on the table where the children can reach them.
      • Pair-up and assign each child a job. One student will be a ‘story teller’ and one student will be a ‘problem solver.’
      • Using the vocabulary that we have just reviewed, the story teller will tell a story using the number sentence card. The story teller should not solve the problem, only present it.
      • The problem solver will then solve the problem, using the manipulatives, and repeat the number sentence. 4+6=10
      • Each pair will present to the other groups until each group gets a turn.
      • Publishing on the computer will be the last step in this process.
  3. Activities and Procedures: “Making Math Sentences”
    • The students will continue to work with their partner to create their own word problems.

      i. Guided Practice: I will first model an example of a word problem that I will make up using the outline I have developed. I will ask the children to participate by aiding me in creating this model.

      ii. Independent Practice: I will then give the students a choice of three pages depending on their level. I have created three different pages that are appropriate to each of the children in their own ways. They will be given time to develop this page and to later present it to each other. (The students will be able to make up their own numbers or use a pre-printed number sentence that I will have available, if they need it.)

    • These pages will be shared and then placed into KidPix by the students and later combined into a slideshow format for presentation.


  • Dry-Erase Board
  • Subtraction/Addition Vocabulary on Magnets
  • Number Sentence
  • Various Manipulatives
  • Cooperative Learning Job Cards
  • 3 Computers with KidPix Studio Deluxe
  • Addition/Subtraction/Blank Story Starters


  • The students will look over this presentation when we review for our next test or summarize the chapter.
  • The students will have homework that relates to this activity so they can follow through at home.


  • I am constantly assessing the achievement of this group through observation.
  • I will be able to learn a lot about each of these students because I am not just looking for an answer, I am looking for an explanation of “why.” The students will continue to not only verbalize, but to show their work in their math journals.

Time Required:

This project will be completed in about 3 phases (class time of 45 minutes) this will include presentation time.

E-Mail Joan Carrozza !

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