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Lesson plan

4. Write and evaluate algebraic expressions to solve problems (A)

teaches Common Core State Standards MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7
teaches Common Core State Standards MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.EE.A.2.c http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/c
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.EE.A.2.b http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/b
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.EE.A.2.a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/a
teaches Common Core State Standards 6.EE.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2

4. Write and evaluate algebraic expressions to solve problems (A)

Lesson objective: Solve problems by writing and evaluating an algebraic expression

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and understanding of algebraic expressions to a real-life situation. Students are asked to write a general expression for the volume of a container and then use their expressions to help a chef find the best-sized container for her pantry ingredients.

Key Concept students will use: 

  • Algebraic expressions can represent both a “recipe” and a quantity (that we may or may not be able to name with a number).

Skills students will use:

  • write an expression describing the volume of a rectangular prism
  • find the volume of a rectangular prism (Grade 5, Unit 1)
  • use order of operations to simplify expressions containing exponents

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 2 (reason abstractly and quantitatively) as they use the context of a real-world problem to write an expression and then evaluate the expression at specific values to find the best solution to the problem. 

Key vocabulary: 

  • evaluate
  • expression
  • order of operations
  • value
  • volume