Combining Writing and Math

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 10312

We don't usually connect writing with math. Language Arts and Math Exercises may spell LAME, but this lesson is far from lame! Using videos and fun projects, learn to connect math and writing essays!


Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Writing

learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Otter, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What does curse mean? How could a curse and mathematics possibly be connected (unless you don't like math, but you will after this lesson!)?

  • What is a curse?

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a curse is "magical words that are said to cause trouble or bad luck for someone." The focus of this lesson is on writing skills in mathematics, but includes a story about curse to help your understanding.

Writing is not limited to Language Arts. You write in each of your school subjects. You are about to discover a connection between math and writing!

Often during math you are asked to solve a word problem or write an explanation about how you solved a problem. The book Math Curse is a fun way to explore how to combine those math skills with your writing skills.

Read the book, available in most libraries, or watch the video of the story The Math Curse below. During this activity you will need to pause the video and solve a word problem. Before watching the video or reading, study the directions below:

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  1. Pay attention to the illustrations in the story.
  2. Stop when you are finished reading page 6 (the page about milk). Take out a sheet of paper and answer the following questions in complete sentences:
    • How many inches are in a foot?
    • How many feet are in a yard?
    • If there are 12 inches in a foot and 3 feet in a yard, how many inches are in a yard?
    • What strategies did you use to solve that problem?
  1. Continue reading or viewing the video of the book until you reach page 9, and stop (The Whole). On this page you will see the following word problem: There are 24 kids in my class. We sit in 4 rows with 6 desks in each row. What if Mrs. Fibonacci rearranges the desks to make 6 rows? 8 rows? 3 rows? 2 rows?
  2. Watch the BUCK system video to learn how to write a word problem:

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  1. Now you may finish reading the rest of the story.

Having tackled the problems above, it is time for you to write your own word problem. You will use the information from the book to write your problem.

  • I like chocolate candy bars.

  • My favorite candy bar is 50 cents.

  • Candy bars are on sale, 50% off.

You will need to put this information together and add a question to make your word problem.

Think about the possibilities. You could ask how much money you would spend if you bought a certain number of candy bars. You could add more information, such as how much money you brought with you, and ask how much money you have left over after purchasing a certain number of candy bars.

Refer to the Candy Bar Word Problems in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar to see if you completed writing a word problem correctly.

Move on over to the Got It? section for some fun practice!

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