High School Math Lesson Plan: Solving Multi-Step Equations

By Ginean Royal

This lesson plan will demonstrate to students how to solve multi-step equations.

Prior Knowledge

Before this lesson your students should have previously learned how to write equations. This involves:

(a) translating Multi Step Algebra Problems sentences into equations,

(b) translating equations into sentences,

(c) solving one-step equations using addition and subtraction and

(d) solving simple equations using multiplication or division. Now students will learn how to solve multi-step equations.

Common Core State Standards

A.REI.1: Explain each step in solving a simple equation as following from the equality of numbers asserted at the previous step, starting from the assumption that the original equation has a solution. Construct a viable argument to justify a solution method.

A.REI.3: Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.

Mathematical Practice(s)

Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Learning Target(s)

  • Applying order of operations and inverse operations to solve equations
  • Constructing an argument to justify my solution process

Essential Question(s)

What is one problem-solving strategy used to solve multi-step equations?

Answer: Working backwards or using the order of operations in reverse.


Inverse operation, isolate, variable, constant, reciprocal, coefficient



  • Instruct that minus and negative are equivalent
  • GOAL: To isolated the specified variable
  • Instruct that what is done on one side of the equation (= sign), must be done on the other side of the = sign.

Utilize chilimath.com for the lesson today. There are two pages to view. Use all of the examples or as many as you choose.

* Reminder for students: that –x is the same as -1x & x is the same as 1x.

Guided Practice

3-6 practice problems. You can do 1or 2 problems with the students at the board (Smart Board, Elmo, etc.) and then put them in small groups of no more than 3 to do the rest. These problems can be pulled from any textbook or other resource.

Independent Practice

Approximately 5 problems to be done alone.


Ask 1-3 questions relating to today’s lesson to be answered by the class as a whole. This will give you a general idea of the class’ understanding of today’s topic.

Exit Ticket

This is to be done the last 3-5 minutes of class and given to you (by hand or in a designated area of your room) as they leave class. Possible question(s):

Solve this problem: 5k + 3 = 23

(Answer: k = 4)