Word problems seem to cause many students to go to pieces! However, beginning with words and phrases, students can be taught how to make sense of a word problem. This five page handout consists of various preparation activities. A grid with 26 words or phrases for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is provided. The grid can be easily copied onto regular paper or cardstock without having to enlarge or reduce it. Seven activities and/or games which use the grid are included with complete instructions. Each activity helps to prepare students to succeed in solving word problems. Six blank cards as well as a blank grid are also provided. An answer grid is attached.