Lesson plan

9. Use the distributive property to rewrite algebraic expressions (FP)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.A.3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/3
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7
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Lesson objective: Fluently rewrite algebraic expressions using the distributive property.

This lesson helps to build fluency with using the distributive property in rewriting algebraic expressions which are in factored form so that they are in expanded form. An area model is used here because it allows students to connect the distributive property with prior work in multiplying whole numbers with area models. This work develops students' understanding that the distributive property applies to algebraic expressions just as it does to numeric expressions.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 7 (look for and make use of structure) as they see that an expression in factored form can be rewritten as an equivalent expression in expanded form. Area models provide a mathematical link between a visual representation of the distributive property and the abstract process used when changing an expression from factored form to expanded form.

Key vocabulary:

  • area
  • distributive property
  • factors
  • multiply
  • product
  • terms