Primary maths: Algebra

Sian Evans
22nd March 2018
Algebraic equation on the blackboard when teaching KS2 students algebra

Break down these tricky concepts and build learners' confidence with help from this collection of amazing algebra activities

It's no surprise that the introduction of letters into a maths lesson can be unnerving for pupils. As you start to introduce learners to a dominant secondary maths topic, ensure you take the time to explain the ideas clearly in an approachable way. From easy-to-use presentations through to fun games and puzzles, check out just some of the great ideas of the Tes community.

Classroom activities

Why not approach this topic in a practical way? From concrete tasks to colouring exercises and perplexing puzzles, there is plenty for learners to investigate.


Algebra Shape Puzzles

This resource has six differentiated levels with calculations of varying difficulty. Ideal as a starter to Algebra using shape substitutes.

You can find more algebra resources here:
By ClassroomSecrets


Enabling pupils to develop their mathematical reasoning skills through independent work is a key element of the Mathematics Mastery programme.

This activity explores the concept of algebra.

• Pupils should complete these tasks using concrete manipulatives as part of the CPA approach
• Pupils should be encouraged to explain their working in full sentences
• These tasks may be adapted with pupils working in pairs to encourage mathematical discussion

Like what you see? Mathematics Mastery is a professional development programme for teachers with a mission to transform mathematics education in the UK.

This task is just a taster of the complete classroom resources we offer. We also provide in-depth development training, online CPD, specialist support and assessment tools.

We believe all elements of our programme are vital in creating lasting change – enabling every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics.

Want to find out more? Check out our free resources and blogs or join an information session.
By Mathematics Mastery

Colour by Algebra Year 6 Activity

Colour by Algebra - an extension activity for my Year 6 class using what they know about solving simple algebraic formulas.

By klawless29

Year 6 Maths: Algebra

This resource has been made using the algebra objectives for Year 6 from the 2014 National Curriculum of England:

- Use simple formulae
- Generate and describe linear number sequences
- Express missing number problems algebraically
- Find pairs of numbers that satisfy an equation of two unknowns
- Enumerate possibilities of combinations of two variables

The pack can be used for reinforcement, in Maths centres for review, Morning Maths work, as well as for home learning tasks.

You might also like:
Year 6 Maths: Number and Place Value
Year 6 Maths: Operations
Year 6 Maths: Fractions, Decimals & Percentages
Year 6 Maths: Ratio & Proportion
Year 6 Maths BUNDLE
By erinbrasington

Lesson ideas

Offer clarity from the outset and explore how letters can be used to represent numbers with help from these comprehensive introductions.


Simple introduction to algebra KS2

I found it difficult to find a simple introduction ppt to algebra so I made this. Hope it is useful. ;-)
By tanfieldmackem

Year 6: Algebra Unit of Work (2 weeks)

This is a 2 week unit of work for teaching all Year 6 Algebra objectives (also suitable for low KS3s). In this unit you will find: Lesson plans (including for your TA), differentiated worksheets/activities (these include specific worksheets/activities for SEN children and worksheets/activities for children displaying mastery), answer sheets, flipcharts for whole class teaching (in both ActivInspire and PowerPoint format) and an end of unit assessment with mark scheme. This pack will save you hours and hours of planning, resourcing, catering for SEN/mastery, generating flipcharts and making assessments all for an amazing price. In addition, resources are uploaded in both PDF and Word format so that they can be edited if you so wish. Previews of this resource can be found by looking at the daily lessons or the weekly units (found in my shop).

Objectives covered in unit of work:
A1: Use simple formulae
A2: Generate and describe linear number sequences
A3: Express missing number problems algebraically
A4: Find pairs of numbers that satisfy number sentences involving two unknowns
A5: Enumerate possibilities of combinations of two variables
End of Unit Assessment

Each day's work can also be bought individually or as two separate weeks. Check out my shop to find all of these resources plus lots more...

Visit My Shop!

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By mrajlong

Basic Algebra

2 PowerPoint presentations to introduce children to the idea of how letters can represent numbers in maths.

Final slide on each presentation has some questions for the chn to work through independently.

I created this as 2 post SATS lessons for year 6.
By n_neil_w

UKS2 Algebra Unit (Mastery / Singapore approach)

A comprehensive run-through of algebra.
Can be used in tandem with maths mastery / Singapore / Shanghai numeracy schemes, like White Rose.

Lessons include: solving one step and two step problems, finding a one-step a two-step rule / rules, finding pairs of values, finding an unknown value, expressing algebraic rules, and enumerate / enumerating possibilities.

All resources designed to engage learners using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations.

At least three weeks of lessons included in the PowerPoint, with hundreds of algebra slides!

Great for Year 5 or Year 6; upper Key Stage Two (KS2); even Key Stage Three (KS3)
By abelarden


Challenge your class to test and consolidate their understanding, while developing a friendly competitive spirit, using these ready-to-use resources.


Algebra Substitution Bingo Game

This game contains bingo cards and 72 question cards which each contain an expression and a value for x to substitute into the expression.

This game is an easily printed and prepared thanks to easy-cut guides. It comes with well-explained rules of play, and makes a great time filler for an entire class or a high quality game for one on one tuition.

This is included in the Bingo Bundle with 4 other activities at a discount price.

You may also like:
Algebra Task Cards
Algebra Rummy Card Game
Combining Like Terms Follow Me Cards
Algebra Patterns and Sequences
By LittleStreams

Algebra Tic-Tac-Toe

It includes 10 Tic Tac Toe Game Boards.
One player is X's and one is O's. Players take turns answering problems. For each right answer they get to put a X or O on their spot.
The first player to create a line of 4 is the winner. The line can go across, down or diagonally.

Let your students have fun and learn at the same time!

The answer key is included.

Laminate and use dry-erase markers.
By Janis Kauss

Algebra Card Match. Sequences. Algebra. Game.

A useful introduction to sequences in algebra, this card match activity makes a good lesson to get all students involved. Six sets of input/output pairs must be matched, and then a missing value found. This allows an easy way in to looking at the difference method for finding algebraic expressions and formulae.This task is designed to encourage students to record results in tables to help them to spot patterns, and then to use the patterns to help find missing values, and thereby to derive algebraic rules
By tafkam

Maths Year 6 algebra, KS3 or KS4 revision. Four games to try - throw the dice, match to equation.

Four games to play to reinforce solving simple equations and substitution, so quite suitable for year 6 and key stages 3 or 4.
Throw the dice, and match the equation to the score. Claim that tile, and the next person throws.
All solutions are in the range of 1 - 6, so easy arithmetic.
But game can be adapted any way you like - solve all the equations first, then play the dice game to make three in a row, or four in a row.
The second set is throw the dice and substitute the scores into the expressions, then find the numbers in the grid.
Give feedback please, on suggested improvements.
By colinbillett

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