Basic Equations


Our free downloadable PDF Basic Equations lesson plan enables students to define, create, and solve basic equations with experiential practice to solidify understanding. This introductory lesson asks students to work in pairs, leveraging peer learning, and exchange their work with each other for accuracy checks.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional adjustments to this lesson is to use only page one of the content pages if you do not wish to introduce multiplication and division equations.

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What our Basic Equations lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Basic Equations enables students to define, create, and solve basic equations with experiential practice to solidify understanding. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to define, create, and solve basic equations. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade and 4th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the blue box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies needed for this lesson are scissors.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. For this lesson, you may choose to use only page one of the content pages if you do not wish to introduce multiplication and division equations.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Basic Equations

The Basic Equations lesson plan includes two content pages. Equations are math statements or sentences that shows that two quantities or amounts are equal. 2 + 3 = 5 is an example of a simple equation. In this problem, the expression 2 + 3 is equal to the quantity of 5.

Basic equations include an unknown that we call a variable. This is a letter that represents the unknown number. In the basic equation 7 + x = 9, x is the variable. For a – 1 = 5, a is the variables. Variables can be any letter of the alphabet.

Equations can includes all the different kinds of operations, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. As we advance in math, we can use multiple kinds of operations in a single equation. However, basic equations only involve one operation at a time.

You can think of equations like a scale. If you placed two pounds on one side and three pounds on the other side, the scale would not be balanced. To balance it, the side must be equal. Whatever you do to one side of the scale, you must do to the other.

Basic Equations Continued

Imagine that one side of the scale had 2 + x and the other had 6. To solve, we could do the same thing to each side. We could subtract 2 from both sides to figure out that x = 4.

Our goal is to get the variable by itself on one side of the equation. In order to get rid of a term on one side of an equation, we’ll use the opposite operation. The 2 + x = 6 equation is an addition equation, so we needed to subtract to find the answer. You can check that your answer is correct by replacing the variable with its new value. We found that x = 4, and 2 + 4 = 6. This is the correct answer!

The lesson closes with four basic equations that we solve using the opposite operation (one example each for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Remember that whatever you do to one side of the equation, you must do to the other! Think about balancing the scale or playing on a see-saw.


The Basic Equations lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


The activity worksheet asks students to first cut apart each of the variables, digits, and operation signs on the worksheet. They will then create equations using the cutouts (creating four of each operation), writing in each of the equations in the spaces provided. Next, they will solve each equation.


For the practice worksheet, students will label each part of the given equation using the word bank. They will then solve 16 practice problems.


The homework assignment asks students to answer 10 multiple choice questions about the lesson material.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the activity worksheet, the practice worksheet, and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.Math.Content.3.OA.A.3, LB.Math.Content.3.OA.A.4, LB.Math.Content.3.OA.D.8, LB.Math.Content.4.OA.A.1, LB.Math.Content.4.OA.A.2, LB.Math.Content.4.OA.A.3,

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JoAnn S.

Basic equations

Love this resource. It is well planned and allowed me to present the lesson in a clear and comprehensive manner so that the students could understand the concept. Thank you!

A Learn Bright Customer
Shaba d.

Good resource

This resource is great for reviewing simple mathematic equations. I use it with other online resources for homeschooling my son. They did a really good job of putting this information together and with answer keys making it simple

Kennia D.


Thank you so much. This site really helps me a lot. Keep up the good work

sean h.

Great learning tool

Helped out in a great way