Variables in Math

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The lesson introduces students to the concept and use of variables in math and algebra.  It also includes an explanation about dependent and independent variables.  Often, when students begin algebra they become intimidated by “letters” mixed with numbers in expressions and equations.  The lesson leads students to a better understanding of how the use of variables will help them correctly solve expressions and equations.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other algebra-related lessons.

Variables in Math Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines
  • Instructional Content Pages about Variables in Math
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice with Variables in Math
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson provides a simple and straightforward introduction to the concept and use of variables in math and algebra.  Dependent and independent variables are both examined in the lesson, as well as related vocabulary such as constant, expression, unknown and equation.  Often, when students begin algebra they become intimidated by “letters” mixed with numbers in expressions and equations.  The lesson leads students to a better understanding of how the use of variables will help them correctly solve expressions and equations.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other algebra-related lessons.

Sample classroom Procedures:

  1. Display the 26 letters of the alphabet. Ask students: What do the letters of the alphabet and math have in common?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students what word means different?  (Give students hints if they cannot guess various, vary, or variety.)
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Variables in Math.
  4. Distribute Variables in Math content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Display and use additional examples for students to understand the use of variables, constants, etc.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Distribute supplies.  Encourage students to be creative.  The posters should be humorous, colorful, and eye-catching.  Circulate through the room to ensure students remain on task.
  6. Once completed, each pair of students will share their posters with the class.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.EE.B.6

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 1 – 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more math resources? Check out our other Math Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Math