teaching resource

Algebraic Expressions – Task Cards

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 9 pages | Grades: 6

Read, write, and solve algebraic expressions with this set of 24 task cards.

What Is an Algebraic Expression?

An algebraic expression is a mathematical phrase that can contain numbers, variables, and operations. It represents a value that can change depending on the values of the variables. Unlike an equation, an algebraic expression does not contain an equal sign and does not state that two things are equal. For example, “x + 3″ is an algebraic expression, while 2x + 3 = 7” is an equation.

With this set of task cards, students will:

  • Write an expression with a variable to represent a given scenario
  • Write a scenario that fits a given expression
  • Determine an equation that matches a scenario
  • Determine the value of a variable in a one-step equation
  • And more! 

The goal of this resource is to practice writing, reading, and solving algebraic expressions in a variety of formats.

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your 6th-grade math lessons.

In addition to individual student work time, use this set of task cards to enhance learning through guided math groups, whole class lessons, or remote learning assignments. 

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts: 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

If students need additional support, provide examples and notes, work one-on-one, allow calculator use, and read the cards aloud to the student.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

As an extension, ask students to solve more complex algebraic expressions involving fractions, decimals, and multiple steps.

🛴 Scoot Activity 

Place the cards around the room in numerical order and give each student a recording sheet. Assign students or pairs to a starting point card. Give students time to review the card and record their answer in the corresponding space on their paper. Students will rotate to the next card when you say, “SCOOT!” Continue in this manner until students return to their starting point. 

👋 Exit Ticket 

Use these cards as a formative assessment after your lesson. Pick a random assortment of cards and project them on the board for the whole class to see. Students can record their answers on a sheet of paper, sticky note, or their notebook. 

Make sure to check out other resources we have available to help your students with algebraic expressions!

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or editable Google Slides version of this resource. A recording sheet and answer key are also included with this download. 

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

To keep the task cards out of pockets or under desks, punch a hole in the corner of each to place them on a binder ring. 

Sustainability Tip: Print a few recording sheets on cardstock and slip them into dry-erase sleeves. Students can record their answers with a whiteboard marker, then erase and reuse them. 

This resource was created by Lorin Davies, a teacher in Texas and Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Don’t stop there! We’ve got more activities and resources that cut down on lesson planning time: 


Image of Algebraic Expressions & Equations – Worksheet

teaching resource

Algebraic Expressions & Equations – Worksheet

Write algebraic expressions and equations for 6 different word problems with this worksheet.

Teach Starter Publishing2 pagesGrades: 5 - 6
Image of 5th Grade Algebraic Relationships Assessment

teaching resource

5th Grade Algebraic Relationships Assessment

Assess student understanding of prime and composite numbers, numerical expressions, graphing numerical patterns, and more with this math assessment.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrade: 5
Image of Writing Equations From Word Problems – Differentiated Digital & Printable Worksheets

teaching resource

Writing Equations From Word Problems – Differentiated Digital & Printable Worksheets

Practice writing equations from word problems with this set of differentiated worksheets.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrade: 5



Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you'd like to request a change to this resource, or report an error, select the corresponding tab above.

Log in to comment