Subject: Math

Lesson Length: 30 - 40 mins

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

Grade Level: 4

Standards / Framework:

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

Know Before You Start: Students should have some understanding 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).


  • Have students 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.


  • Have students 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 or examples of multiplication vs. division word problems.

  • Provide an option for students 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. 

ELL Support: 

  • Allow students to work in pairs.

  • Provide sentence frames as needed.

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

  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.


Suggested Content Packs:

Suggested Story Starters: