ALEX Lesson Plan


Solving Literal Equations

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Sheila Mitchell
System: Cullman County
School: Fairview High School
The event this resource created for:GEMS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 23922


Solving Literal Equations


This lesson contains a PowerPoint presentation about solving literal equations. There is an opportunity for the students to complete an interactive worksheet on the computer. There is also a worksheet provided for them to take home for extra practice if needed.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 9-12
Algebra I
15 ) Rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations. [A-CED4]

Example: Rearrange Ohm's law V = IR to highlight resistance R.

Local/National Standards:

AHSGE Standard II – Objective 1 Solve multi-step equations of first degree.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The student will be able to solve literal equations for a specified variable.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

The student will be able to solve multi-step equations.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Copies of the worksheet (attached), paper, and some type of writing instrument.

Technology Resources Needed:

A computer with PowerPoint and a LCD Projector or other computer projection device.


Students should be able to solve two-step equations and equations with variables on the both sides.

1.)Prior to the lesson, print the attached worksheet and make copies for the students. Set up for the PowerPoint presentation. If you do not have a way of projecting the PowerPoint, you can print the slides and make transparencies.

2.)I would introduce this lesson by telling the students about a Missions Trip that I took to Honduras. I would have them brainstorm about things I would need to do to get ready for the trip. If they did not arrive at the fact that I would need to convert my money into their currency, I would offer that suggestion. I would show them the current exchange rate and lead them through an example of converting American dollars into Honduran Lempira.
We could discuss the pitfalls of not knowing the exchange rate and how solving the equation to find the value of a lempira, would help them to spend their money more wisely while they were there.
Having several Hispanic immigrants, I sometimes ask them to tell about getting used to our currency as opposed to the currency of their country.
Another option would be to tell about an experience you have had with foreign travel or to have a 'Fantasy Trip' to wherever you choose.
You can use the highlighted $$$$ below to access photos of foreign currency to show during your introduction.
A website containing photos of foreign currency.

3.)Explain to the students that they will be taking notes and working example problems during the presentation. Make sure that they have paper and writing instruments ready before the presentation begins.

4.)Begin the PowerPoint presentation. Pause and give the students time to work the problems. Also, have students copy down the examples and any other notes that will be helpful to them as they are solving the problems. Allow the students to present their answers as you go through the PowerPoint. One way that you might do this is to let them work them on an interactive board, of course, you could allow them to put their work on the whiteboard as well. Allow opportunities for student interaction and questions.

5.)If you happen to have computer access for your students, have them pull up an interactive worksheet for practice with immediate feedback. You may find the site by clicking the highlighted icon below. A variation of this would be for you to project the page for all to see and then allow different students to enter the solutions.
Practice page of literal equations.

6.)When finished with the PowerPoint, answer any remaining questions and then assign the worksheet. If there is not enough time to complete the worksheet 'Solving Literal Equations', assign it as homework and collect it the next day.

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Assessment Strategies

Initial assessment will be done as the students are working through the exercises in the PowerPoint, students will self-assess while working on the interactive worksheet, the worksheet 'Solving Literal Equations' will be graded and the student will be tested on solving literal equations at the same time they are tested on other types of multi-step equations such as radical and absolute values.


An extension for this lesson could be for the students to use the foreign currency reports site to find exchange rates for many different countries and to write the rate solved both for the U.S. dollar and for a specified foreign currency. They could research the cost of a value meal at McDonalds in a foreign country and then convert that to the cost in U.S. dollars to see how they compare.


Students having trouble grasping this concept may need more practice solving two-step and basic multi-step equations.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.