Lesson plan

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

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.A.2a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.A.2b http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/b
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.A.2c http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/c
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: 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 have a numerical value).

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