Equivalent Expressions


With our Equivalent Expressions lesson plan, students learn all about equivalent expression and how to identify them. They practice matching equivalent expressions and rewriting expressions to make them equivalent.

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 additions to this lesson is to have each of your students share an expression and then have all the other students create an equivalent expression.

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What our Equivalent Expressions lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Equivalent Expressions teaches students about equivalent expressions, including what they are and how to identify them. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify two equivalent expressions. This lesson is for students in 6th 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 supplies you will need for this lesson include scissors, glue, and extra paper.

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. One optional addition to this lesson is to have each of your students share an expression and then have all the other students create an equivalent expression; allow for students to rotate as the leader, and use white boards to make the process faster. You can also incorporate mathematical properties into the lesson to see if students can link the concepts together for a thorough application.

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.


Equivalent Expressions

The Equivalent Expressions lesson plan includes two pages of content. Algebraic expressions are mathematical phrases that contains rational numbers, operators, and/or variables. The word equivalent means the same or equal. Therefore, equivalent expressions are two expressions with the same value, even if they look different.

Some example of equivalent expressions are 3 + 4 and 6 + 1, 5 * 4 and 2 * 10, and 10 – 4 and 18 – 12. The value of each expression is equal—both 3 + 4 = 7 and 6 + 1 = 7. There are many other ways we could write expressions to equal 7: 6.5 + 0.5 = 7, 4 3/4 + 2 1/4 = 7, and -2 + 9 = 7. These are all be equivalent expressions!

Equivalent expressions can also have variables, like with the following expressions: 5x and 2x + 3x. These are equivalent because 2x + 3x = 5x. The expressions 9x – 3x and 2(3x) are equivalent because they both equal 6x. However, the expressions 2x and x² are not equivalent because 2x and x² are not the same. 2x is x + x while x² is x * x.

It’s important to understand equivalent expressions in math because it might be easier to work with or simplify a problem using an equivalent expression.


The Equivalent Expressions 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.


For the activity worksheet, students will cut out each expression on the worksheet and match it to an equivalent expression.


The practice worksheet asks students to decide if each of the given sets of expressions are equivalent. If they are not, they will rewrite the expressions to make them equivalent. They will also write three expressions that are equivalent to 24x³.


For the homework assignment, students will first circle all of the expressions shown that are equal to 5(2+x). Next, they will write nine expressions (three for each expression) that are equivalent to 30, 18x², and 12x + 4x².

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


6th Grade



State Educational Standards