Writing Equations Using Letters for the Unknown or Variables TEKS 5.4B

Math Chick
Grade Levels
4th - 6th
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I love to integrate literature into math class whenever possible! This activity is a wonderful activity to introduce students to writing equations using a letter for the unknown quantity or variables. The activity comes with guided instruction that follows the book exactly. The book is "One is a Snail and Ten is a Crab" by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre. I have included a link to a reading of the book on YouTube or you can check out the book from your library or may be you want buy it to keep in your class!

The book is simple in nature, but the math you can do with the concept can be more complex and the book’s simplicity helps the student focus on the math concept.

The activity sheets (pages 2-8) follow along with the book but,

if you are limited in copies or may be you want the students to glue the pages into their math journal, I have included pages 9 and 10, which is the activity sheets condensed onto 2 pages for easy copies and easy glueing!

After the book is over, students will have a chance to work with a partner creating their own equations that represent a given number.

I have not included an answer key on partner work because they are open ended and have many possibilities.

For enrichment or for another part of the lesson I have included a PARTNER GAME!!!

Students will love to connect what they have learned about variables while solving a domino puzzle!

I have included an answer key for the dominoes. The dominoes should create one string of dominoes starting with the snail and ending with the crab, just like the book!

YOU GET TWO ACTIVITIES! Guided Instruction and A Partner Game! What better way to teach 5.4B or to review for STAAR!

You might also enjoy my Mystery Beads QR Code Activity which also teaches this same concept!

Mystery Beads: Equations with Variables Letters for Unknown TEKS 5.4B QR Codes

Try some of my other Google Classroom Activities!

Rounding Comparing and Expanded Notation of Decimals Google Classroom

Problem Solving with Coordinate Grids Google Classroom Activity 5.8A 5.8B 5.8C

Area and Perimeter Problem Solving Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.4H

Writing Equations Using Variable or Letter for the Unknown Google Classroom 5.4B

Dividing Unit Fractions and Wholes Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.3J 5.3L

Adding and Subtracting Fractions Unlike Denominators Google Classroom Activity

Shape Sorting Hierarchy Interactive Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.5A

Multiply a Whole and a Fraction Interactive Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.3I

Volume of Rectangular Prisms Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.6A 5.6B 5.4H

Prime and Composite Numbers Google Classroom Interactive Activity TEKS 5.4A

Additive and Multiplicative Patterns Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.4C 5.4D

Order of Operations NO EXPONENTS Google Classroom TEKS 5.4E and 5.4F

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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write expressions that record operations with numbers and with letters standing for numbers. For example, express the calculation “Subtract 𝘺 from 5” as 5 - 𝘺.
Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.


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