Subject: Math

Lesson Length: 30 - 40 mins

Topic: Operations & Algebraic Thinking; Multiplication/Division Word Problems

Grade Level: 4

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will use key words to solve word problems involving multiplication and/or division and create a problem solving comic of their own.

Know Before You Start: Students should have prior knowledge of how to use keywords to solve multiplication and division word problems.

Comic 1

Comic 2


  • Review keywords and/or phrases to look for when solving multiplication and division word problems.
  • Discuss Coach Kai’s word problem in Comic 1. Which key words or phrases will help them decide which operation to use?  Solve the problem as a class. (Show panels three and four for the solution).

Activity: Students will create a two-panel comic describing how they solved Coach Mel’s cone problem in Comic 2. In the comic, students should explain: 

Panel 1:

  • Which keywords and/or phrases indicate the needed operation.
  • Which operation they’ll need to use (multiplication or division.)

Panel 2:

  • A caption showing the equation they’ll use with a symbol for the unknown value.
  • An explanation of how they solved the problem.
  • The answer to the problem.

*Students can have the option to write and solve their own multiplication and/or division word problem using the same process as above. Students who write their own should create comics that include a minimum of four panels. (See Comic 1 above).

Closure: Students will share their comic with a partner. The partner will determine if they agree with the method and solution of the problem.


  • Scaffold independent work by choosing one sample problem for students working below grade level to complete in pairs or groups.

  • Provide visuals/examples of multiplication vs. division word problems.

ELL Support: 

  • Allow students to work in pairs for peer model.

  • Provide sentence frames for students.

  • Allow students to write their comic in their home language.


Suggested Content Packs:

Suggested Story Starters: