Algebraic Introduction and Practice

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Year 6 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Introduction to Algebra (Curriculum Level 3)

Lesson Overview

This lesson introduces Year 6 students to the basics of algebra, focusing on understanding and using algebraic expressions and simple equations. It aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum level 3 standards for mathematics, particularly focusing on developing algebraic thinking, a key component at this stage.


30 minutes

Class Size

25 students

Curriculum Area and Level

- Subject: Mathematics
- Strand: Number and Algebra
- Curriculum Level: 3

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Understand the concept of a variable.
2. Write simple expressions with one variable.
3. Solve simple equations using basic algebraic techniques.


- Whiteboard and markers
- Algebra tiles or counters
- Worksheets with algebra problems (can be printed from nzmaths)
- Computers/tablets with internet access (optional)

Lesson Structure

Introduction (5 minutes)

- Objective: To engage students and introduce the concept of algebra.
- Activity:
- Start with a question: "If I have a number in my mind, and I add 3 to it, and the result is 10, what was my number?" Allow a brief discussion.
- Introduce the concept of variables as "mystery numbers" we need to find, and how algebra is a tool to solve such mysteries.

Main Activity (20 minutes)

- Objective: To practice forming and solving algebraic expressions and equations.
- Activity 1: Understanding Variables (5 minutes)
- Explanation: A variable can be any letter, and it represents a number in algebra.
- Interactive Game: Use algebra tiles to visually represent the equation \( x + 3 = 10 \). Students use tiles to find what \( x \) must be.

- Activity 2: Writing Algebraic Expressions (5 minutes)
- Exercise: Give verbal scenarios, e.g., "Think of a number, multiply it by 2, and then add 5." Students write it as an algebraic expression (\(2x + 5\)).

- Activity 3: Solving Simple Equations (10 minutes)
- Task: Provide simple one-step equations on a worksheet or use an online interactive quiz if devices are available.
- Example Problem: \( x - 4 = 3 \). Students solve for \( x \).
- Discuss the method of 'balancing', doing the same operation to both sides of the equation to keep it equal.

Conclusion (5 minutes)

- Objective: To reinforce learning and confirm understanding.
- Activity:
- Recap the main points of the lesson, highlighting the process of using algebra to find unknown values.
- Answer any questions students might have.
- Assign a simple take-home task with 3 to 5 problems to reinforce today's lesson.


- Informal observation during activities to gauge understanding.
- Review the answers provided in Activity 3 to assess individual comprehension.

Adaptations for Diverse Learners

- Provide additional support and simplified explanations for students who might struggle with abstract concepts.
- Challenge more advanced students with slightly more complex equations or encourage them to create their own problems for peers to solve.

Links and Further Resources

- NZMaths - Algebra at Level 3 (This page provides resources and further explanations aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum.)

Appendix: Worksheets

- Worksheet 1: Practice problems on identifying variables and writing expressions.
- Worksheet 2: Simple equations to solve with a balance method.

This lesson plan is crafted to engage Year 6 students in the basics of algebra, preparing them logically for more advanced mathematical concepts while meeting the specific standards of New Zealand's educational system at Curriculum Level 3.
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