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Multiplication or Division Word Problems (Grade 4)

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More Lessons for Grade 4
Common Core for Grade 4


Videos, solutions, examples, and lessons to help Grade 4 students learn to multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem, distinguishing multiplicative comparison from additive comparison.

Common Core: 4.OA.2

Suggested Learning Targets

  • I can explain the difference between multiplicative (as many times as) and additive (more) comparisons.
  • I can determine when to multiply or divide in word problems.

Additive and Multiplicative Comparison Problems

What is the difference between additive comparison and multiplicative comparison?
How do I solve each problem?
Additive Comparison Example:
Darlene has 7 apples. Juan has 4 more. How many does Juan have?
Multiplicative Comparison Example:
Darlene has 7 apples. Juan has 4 times as many. How many does Juan have?

Using Bar Models

Multiplication Comparison
Solving Word Problems with multiplication comparisons
John has three times as many apples as Sally.
How many apples does John have? Drawing Comparison Problems
This lesson shows how to use models for comparison problems, using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
1. Sammy weighs 7 times as much as Heidi. Together, they weigh 72 pounds. How much does Sammy weigh?
2. Sammy weighs 63 pounds. Heidi weighs 9 pounds. How much more does Sammy weigh than Heidi?

Using Bar Models to solve Word Problems
Using bar models to solve a word problem that involves "three times as many" and "4 more".
Claire loves animals. She has 3 times as many goldfish as she has chickens. She has 4 more hamsters than chickens. Altogether, she has 49 animals (goldfish, chickens, and hamsters). How many more goldfish does she have than hamsters?

Using Drawings

Solve multistep word problems using drawing and equations with a symbol for the unknown (4.OA.2)
Cheryl purchased five books for the same amount as Carla, who purchase 3 of the same books and a $8 briefcase. What was the cost of each book? Example:
Kyle is making 9 birdhouses. He uses 8 nails for each birdhouse. If Kyle has a box of 100 nails, how many nails will he have left after he makes the birdhouses? Example:
Ms. Upton spends a total of $42 for 3 sweaters for her children. Each sweater costs the same amount. How mch does each sweater cost?

Using Multiplicative Equations

Multiplicative Comparison using writing
How to use models, illustrations and writing to solve multiplicative comparison questions?
1) Darlene picked 7 apples. Juan picked 4 times as many as Darlene. How many apples did Juan pick?
2) Joelle read 9 books in the fall. George read 7 times as many books. How many books did George read?
3) Sarah is 12 years old. George is g years old. Sarah is 3 times as old as George. How old is George?

Writing Equations with Multiplicative Comparison Problems
1) Suzie is 4 feet tall. There is a tree in her yard that is 9 times taller than she is. How tall is the tree in Suzie's yard?
2) The tree in Suzie's yard is 36 feet tall. The tree is 9 times as tall as Suzie. How tall is Suzie?
3) Suzie is 4 feet tall. The tree in her yard is 36 feet tall. How much taller is the tree than Suzie? Multiplicative Comparison
Write an equation and solve
Mrs. K is five times as old as her son. If she is 35, how old is her son?

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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