We use math skills without even realizing or paying attention to them. The fact is that math exists in some form for almost all of us.
You may ask How?
Well! Don’t we, including our students, wonder how many more minutes I can sleep?
Word problems can be tricky. What works for one student may not work for another. However, it can be the best exercise for your students’ brain. The more your students do the math, the more you will find their mind active.
On that note!
What is a word problem?
A word problem is a mathematical exercise in which substantial background information on the problem is presented in ordinary language rather than in mathematical notation.
Word problems encourage students to think of math equations as an actual story or scenario.
A math word problem is a maths question written as one sentence or more that requires children to apply their maths knowledge to a real-life scenario. To get the right answer, students should just figure out what math operation to use and then do the calculations correctly.
Learning is a process. While some kids learn easily and quickly, others may struggle with math problems and need extra help.
Here are some of the best math word problems for helping you get a handle on your student’s math learning. The resources below are categorized by the following skills with some inter-topic overlap:
- Mixed Operations
Best Math Word Problems for Grade 1-5
Addition Word Problems
Best for 1st and 2nd grade
1. There are 6 chef assistants and 2 servers in a restaurant. How many staff are working there?
Answer: 6 + 2 = 8
2. 3 monkeys were jumping. 4 more monkeys started jumping. Find the number of monkeys jumping?
Answer: 3 + 4 = 7
3. Rachel was playing basketball. 8 of her shots went in the hoop. 3 of her shots did not go in the hoop. What was the total number of shots?
Answer: 8 + 3 = 11
4. In the fridge, there are 5 stacks of chocolate puddings and 11 stacks of brownies. How many stacks of dessert are there?
Answer: 5 + 11 = 16
5. David has 10 pieces of candy to share with his friends. There wasn’t enough candy for all his friends, so he went to the store and got 70 pieces of blue candy and 10 pieces of red candy. How many pieces of candy does David have now?
Answer: 10 + 70 + 10 = 90
6. There are 6 passengers in first class, 11 passengers in the business class and 80 passengers in the economy class. How many passengers are on the plane?
Answer: 6 + 11 + 80 = 97
7. An auditorium has 42 normal seats and 20 seats for babies. How many seats does the auditorium have in total?
Answer: 42+ 20 = 62
8. There are 32 cups of popcorn in the first popcorn machine and 27 cups of popcorn in the second popcorn machine. Amongst these, there are 20 empty popcorn cups. How many cups of popcorn are ready in total?
Answer: 32 + 27 = 59, 59 – 20 = 39 (There are 39 cups of popcorn ready in total)
9. How many muffins did Jackson sell if he sold 400 chocolate muffins and 270 blueberry muffins?
Answer: 400 + 270 = 670
10. Mrs. Sharma likes to put her students’ projects on display. There are 7 sculptures and 8 paintings. How many projects are on display?
Answer: 7 + 8 = 15
11. Shivani is buying doggie boots for her 2 dogs. If she wants to buy them one puppy boot for each of their feet, how many boots will she buy?
Answer: 4 + 4 = 8 (Each dog has 4 feet, so she needs 8 boots)
Subtraction Word Problems
Best for 1st and 2nd grade
12. Erica has 13 balloons. Amy has 7 balloons. How many more balloons does Erica have than Amy?
Answer: 13 – 7 = 6
13. A full box has 15 pieces of chalk. Your box only has 5 pieces. How many pieces of chalk are missing from your box?
Answer: 15 – 5 = 10
14. Amy ordered 3 pizzas in total at the pizza shop. She and her friends finished 1 pizza. How many pizzas are left?
Answer: 3 – 1 = 2
15. Your best friend had 27 crayons at the beginning of the class but after the art class, she only had a total of 16 crayons. How many crayons are missing altogether?
Answer: 27 – 16 = 11
16. David has mixed 100 pieces of red and blue candy to share with his friends. When he went to play, he shared 10 red candies and 20 blue candies. How many pieces of candy does David have now?
Answer: 10 + 20 = 30, 100 – 30 = 70
17. Your team scored a total of 124 points in the basketball match during the school tournament. 60 points were scored in the first half. How many points were scored in the second half?
Answer: 124 – 60 = 64
18. 45 patients made appointments on Monday but only 28 patients showed up. How many patients missed their appointments?
Answer: 45 – 28 = 17
19. Mrs Wong had 835 flowers in her garden. She picked 237 of them and gave them to 4 friends. How many flowers does she have left?
Answer: 835-237 = 598
20. The craft store in your neighbourhood normally sells 9876 canvas sheets per month. In June, the craft store sold a total of 23,576 canvas sheets. How many more canvas sheets did the craft store sell in June compared with a normal month?
Answer: 23576-9876 = 13700
21. Joseph had 296 mangoes on his farm. He gave 105 mangoes to Marissa and 86 to kavya. How many mangoes were left?
Answer: 296 – 105 – 86 = 105
Multiplication Word Problem
Best for 2nd and 3rd grade
22. There are 8 houses on a small street. Each house has a family with 2 children, 2 cats and a dog. How many children are there living on this street?
Answer: 8 x 2 = 16
23. The class is doing a math activity. There are 5 groups of 4 students. Each student should get 2 worksheets and 3 sheets of construction paper. How many sheets of construction paper would each group of students have?
Answer: 4 x 3 = 12
24. Anjali needs to cut a cake into pieces. She cuts 9 even columns and 3 even rows into the pan. How many brownies does she have?
Answer: 9 x 3 = 27
25. An auditorium has 15 rows of seats with 25 seats in each row. How many seats are there in total?
Answer: 15x 25 = 375
26. A clothing company has 4 different kinds of shirts. Each year, the company makes 80,000 of each kind of shirt. How many shirts does the company make each year?
Answer: 80,000 x 4 = 320000
27. How many cookies and cream cupcakes would you have if you had 37 bags of cookies with 19 cookies and 25 bags of cream cupcakes with 6 cream cupcakes in each bag?
Answer: 37 x 19 = 703; 25 x 6 = 150
(There will be 703 cookies and 150 cream cupcakes in total.)
28. There are 397 butterflies. Each butterfly has 12 black dots and 17 yellow dots. How many black dots are there in all?
Answer: 397 x 12 = 4764
29. A baker has an apple pie that measures 18 inches on one side and 29 inches on another side. If the pie is cut into square pieces 1 inch on each side, how many pieces of apple pie does the pan hold?
Answer: 18 x 29 = 522
30. Farmer Ben has 4 chicken coops on his farm. Each coop houses 6 chickens. Each chicken lays 10 eggs per day. What is the total number of eggs that Farmer Ben collects per day?
Answer: 4 x 6 x 10 = 240
Division Word Problems
Best For 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade
31. If you have 6 pieces of candy and you split it equally among 2 friends, how many pieces of candy will each of your friends have?
Answer: 6 ÷ 2 = 3
32. Amy has 80 crayons which she will place in crayon boxes. Every crayon box can contain 8 crayons. How many crayon boxes does she need?
Answer: 80 ÷ 8 = 10
33. If you have Rs. 90 for the fair and each ride costs Rs. 5, how many rides can you go on?
Answer: 90 ÷ 5 = 18
34. Manisha spent Rs. 740 at the school store. She bought a notebook for Rs. 350, a ruler for Rs. 180 and 3 sets of the pen. What is the cost of each set of the pen?
Answer: 740-350-180 =210 ; 210 ÷ 3 = 70
35. If you buy two packs of tennis balls for Rs. 1200 in total. Altogether, there are 6 tennis balls. How much does 1 pack of tennis balls cost? How much does 1 tennis ball cost?
Answer: 1200÷ 2 = 600 (Each pack of tennis balls will cost Rs. 600);
6÷ 2 = 3 (There are 3 tennis balls in each pack);
600÷ 3 = 200 (One tennis ball cost Rs. 200)
36. A restaurant every morning receives 106 loaves of bread. If it takes 4 loaves of bread to make a dish, how many loaves of bread will the restaurant have leftover after making as many dishes as possible?
Answer: 106 = 26 x 4 + 2
A total of 26 dishes were prepared using a total of 26 x 4 = 104 bread loaves.
The remaining bread loaves are 106-104 = 2.
Fraction Word Problems
Best For 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade
37. Ginny and Harry went to the school library one fine morning as they planned to borrow books to read during holidays. Of the 10 books on fairy tales, Ginny borrowed 3. What fraction of the books on fairy tales did she borrow?
Answer: 3 out of 10 = 3/10 (Ginny borrowed 3/10 of the fairy tale books.)
38. Ginny’s father wanted to have citrus cream pie and so he bought one from the baker’s corner. If they consumed 5 of the 8 equal slices of the citrus cream pie, what part of the pie was left?
Answer: 5 out of 8 = 5/8, which means 3 out of 8 was left = 3/8 (3/8 of the pie was left unconsumed.)
39. Jack spent 3/4 of an hour biking and 5/6 of an hour jogging. Afterwards, he swam for 1/8 of an hour. How much time did Jack exercise before he went swimming?
Answer: 3/4 + 5/6 = 9/12 + 10/12 = 19/12 (Before he went swimming, he exercised for 19/12 hours)
40. Emily decided to walk for 4/5 miles every day. She walked 2/5 miles to work and walked 1/4 miles at lunchtime. How much more does she need to walk after dinner if she wants to meet her target distance?
Answer: 4/5 − 2/5 − 1/4 = 3/20 (She needs to walk another 7/20 of a mile to meet her target distance.)
41. At lunchtime, an ice cream parlour served 6 ¼ scoops of vanilla ice cream, 5 ¾ scoops of strawberry and 2 ¾ scoops of Chocolate. How many scoops of ice cream did the parlour serve in total?
Answer: Step-by-step explanation –
Vanilla ice cream scoops = 4*6+1= 25 upon 4
Strawberry scoops = 4*5+3= 23 upon 4
Chocolate scoops = 4*2+3= 13 upon 4
As the denominators are same we will add 25+23+14 = 61 upon 4
61/4 = 15 .25
The answer is 15.25 scoops were served by the ice cream parlour.
42. There is a bag of sugar in the storage room. The bag contained 4/5 kilograms of sugar. The chef filled up an empty can with 1/10 kilogram of sugar and then used 3/20 of a kilogram of sugar for a cake. How much sugar was left in the bag?
Answer: 4/5 − 1/10 − 3/20 = 11/20 (11/20 kilograms of sugar was left in the bag.)
43. Of 100 children in Grades 4 and 5, three-quarters have pets; 40 children have a dog, and 18 children have a cat. How many children have other kinds of pets
Answer: 100 x 3/4 = 75, so 75 children have pets. 75 – 40 – 18 = 17 (17 children have other kinds of pets.)
44. From a pan of brownies, 1/4 of the brownies had already been eaten. Then John came along and ate 2/3 of the brownies that were left. How much of the whole pan of brownies did John eat?
Answer: 4/4 (1 whole) – 1/4 = 3/4 of the brownies were left initially. 3/4 x 2/3 = 6/12, which reduces to 1/2. (½ of the pan was eaten by John)
45. A senior manager interviewed 6 applicants. He decided to hire 2 of the applicants and reject others. His assistant called back the applicants to tell them the result. She spent 1/30 an hour calling each of the rejected applicants and ⅓ of an hour calling the hired applicants. How much time did the assistant spend making these calls?
Answer: 1/30 x 4 + ⅓ x 2 = ⅘ (The assistant spent ⅘ hours making these calls.)
46. The senior manager planned to interview some applicants for a position in his office. If he scheduled ¼ of an hour to meet each of them, how much time did he schedule for all 6 applicants? Instead of ¼ of an hour, he spent ⅓ of an hour meeting each applicant. How much more time did he spend meeting all the applicants?
Answer: ¼ x 6 = 3/2 (He scheduled 3/2 hours to meet each applicant)
( ⅓ − ¼ ) × 6 = ½ ( He spent a ½ hour more than the scheduled time.)
47. Tina rented a car on her vacation. The mileage included with the rental is 54 miles. For every mile she drives over 54 miles, she needs to pay $1⅘. If she drives 69 miles, how much extra does she need to pay?
Answer: (69 − 54) × 1⅘ = 27 (Tina needs to pay $27 extra.)
Decimals Word Problems
Best for 4th grade and 5th grade
48. Aarna has 3 bags of sugar. She has two smaller bags with 0.65 kg of sugar each and a bigger bag that has 2.14 kg. How much sugar does she have in total?
Answer: 0.65 + 0.65 + 2.14 = 3.44 She has 3.44 kg of sugar in total.
49. Ashley had 94.5 grams of frosting to make a cake. She only used 25.75 grams of frosting. How much frosting does she have left?
Answer: 94.5 – 25.75 = 68.75
50. On average, a delivery boy travels 19.7 kilometres every day. After 4 days, How many kilometres will he have travelled?
Answer: 19.7 x 4 = 78.8 (The delivery boy travels 78.8 kilometres in 4 days.)
51. Mrs Sharma purchased 2.5 kilogrammes of spaghetti to make pasta. She and her friends were able to make 10 servings of spaghetti in total. How many kilograms of spaghetti does it take to make 1 serving of pasta?
Answer: 2.5 ÷ 10 = 0.25 Kilograms.
52. On average, a post office processes 45.6 letters every hour and is normally open 9.5 hours a day. During Christmas, the post office opens 12.5 hours a day. Compared to usual days, how many more letters can the post office process?
Answer: 45.6 x (12.5 – 9.5) = 136.8 (The post office can process 136.8 extra letters per day during Christmas.)
53. 4 days a week, David practices martial arts for 2.5 hours. Considering a week is 7 days, what is his average practice time per day each week?
Answer: 4 x 2.5 = 10; 10/7 = 1.43 hours (David’s average practice time per day is 1.43 hours)
54. One Cookie weighs 28. 39 grams. One batch of cookie has 6 cookies. What is the weight of 2.5 batches of cookies?
Answer: 28.39 x 6 = 170.34 (One batch of cookies weighs 170.34 gms.)
170.34 x 2.5 = 425.85 gms. (The weight of 2.5 batches of cookies is 425.85 gms.)
Mixed Operations Word Problems
Best for 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade
55. Aakash is trying to build a small house for his pet. He will need 376 boards of wood. If his friend gave him 123 boards and his brother gave him 136 boards, how many more boards does he need to gather?
Answer: 376 – 123 – 136 = 117
56. To add support, Aakash decided to tie the wood joints with rope. He needs 185 feet of rope. He had 46 feet of rope to start and then his friend gave him some more. Now Aakash only needs 57 feet. How many feet of rope did his friend give to him?
Answer: First, 57 + 46 = 103; then 185 – 103 = 82 His friends gave him 82 feet of rope.
57. There are 10 of you on a picnic. If each one of you gets 2 slices and each pizza has 4 slices, how many pizzas should you take along?
Answer: 10 x 2 = 20 slices in total.
20 ÷ 4 = 5. (You should take 5 pizzas to the picnic for the 10 of you.)
58. Leena has 3 bags with 4 marbles in each bag. Maddy has 2 bags with 8 marbles in each bag. How many more marbles does Maddy have?
Answer: 3 x 4 = 12; 2 x 8 = 16
16 – 12 = 4 ( Maddy has 4 more marbles than Leena)
59. Mr. Agarwal had Rs. 80,000 in His savings account. He earned 10% interest each year. If he left that money in the account for one year, how much will he have in the account at the end of that year?
Answer: Interest = principal (starting amount) x rate (as a decimal) x time.
Interest = 80,000 x .10 x 1 = 8,000.
80,000 + 8,000 = 88,000. He will have Rs.88,000
60. A club has an indoor playground and 4 party rooms for the kids birthday party. The centre is open for 12 hours each day. Each party takes 3 hours. What is the maximum number of parties the club can host in a day?
Answer: 12 ÷ 3 = 4 (Each room can host 4 parties each day.)
4 x 4 = 16 (The club can host up to 16 parties in a day.)
Here are some key notes for implementing word problem strategy in your classroom and help your students become an expert:
- Read the problem aloud to give your students a better mind map of the problem.
- Circle the words or write the numeral so your students can focus on dealing with the digits.
- Give clues and include keywords to help students arrive at the solution strategy more easily and quickly.
- Pro-tip, illustrate the math problem through a pie chart or tally marks and it can do wonders for students struggling with math word problems.
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If you want to see more on Higher order thinking skills (HOTS) based word problems. Comment below and let us know!
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