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Word Problems Year 4: Fun And Engaging Activities For Your Class

Need ideas for teaching word problems to your year 4 class? Read on for some super fun activities that students will enjoy and engage with!

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Word Problems Year 4 - Act Them Out!

Rather than simply working out the problem, get your students to act out the problem! 

For example if your students are trying to work out this word problem: cinema tickets are £6 and 8 people are going. 

How much did they pay altogether? You could print out 8 cinema tickets and have students work in a group to figure out the cost (8 students are going to the cinema and 1 person is the cashier). 

This is a fun opportunity for your class to do some acting as well as learning how to work out year 4 word problems!

Use Manipulatives

Number bonds to 10 blocks

Using manipulatives is a really effective way of getting your students to visualise the word problem that they’re trying to solve. 

Students can use anything from counters to pens! 

Using manipulatives is always fun for students as they get to use fun tools like counters or building blocks – so the activity almost feels like play! 

This gets students engaged in solving year 4 word problems!

Creating Word Problems

Why not get your students to create their own year 4 word problems? 

This activity allows your pupils to get creative and write their own problems! This way they can clearly see how word problems work and therefore will find it easier to solve them in the future. 

The students can then swap word problems with their classmates and solve each other’s work. This could then involve some peer assessment where your students will mark the questions that they created!

Make Some Silly Word Problems

Making up some silly word problems is a simple but fantastic way of engaging your students with this topic! 

Whilst regular word problems may seem like a boring task for students, sillier problems may motivate them a little more to get learning! 

Children love a chance to have some silly fun in the classroom, so this will help them to build a positive relationship with year 4 word problems.

Some Example Silly Word Problems – Year 4:

  1.  The teacher ate 34 muffins for breakfast and 57 muffins for lunch. How many muffins did they eat before dinner?
  2. There were 38 dancing beans jumping around. 7 more jumping beans joined the dance party. How many dancing beans were there altogether?
  3. There were 280 flowers growing in a field. A group of girl scouts came and picked 3/4 of them. How many flowers were left?        Some more silly word problems can be found here.

Think - Pair - Share

Getting students to pair up and work together to solve year 4 word problems is a really effective learning technique for this topic. 

Think – Pair – Share gives pupils the opportunity to work through problems at their own pace and explain what they think the answer is to another student. 

Students will initially think about the problem independently, then pair up and share their ideas with their partner! Explaining the solving process is really important to understanding word problems.

Think pair share - word problems year 4

Student Becomes The Teacher

(I would recommend getting volunteers for this as not all students are comfortable at the front of the class!)

Why not get your students up to the front of the class to explain and work through some year 4 word problems? 

As mentioned earlier, it is extremely beneficial for pupils to explain the process of solving the word problem as it can really increase their understanding. 

Another great benefit of this is that it may help other students who are listening to their peers explain the problem solving process! Hearing explanations from a different perspective than the teacher can often be what makes the topic click!

Using Pupils' Names

Incorporating students’ names into the word problems that they’re solving is a really fun method of engaging them in the content. 

Children love when their name appears in a paper or even a book you may be reading, so this is guaranteed to be effective in your classroom! 

A fun activity could be writing one word problem for each student which has their name in it. Each student would then solve their own personalised word problem! 

This is an easy way of getting students engaging with year 4 word problems!

Draw Pictures

Why not try to make year 4 word problems a little more creative? 

Some students require visuals to really understand what they’re solving. So, get your students to draw out the problem that they’re working out!

For example, if your class is trying to work out how many books are on 3 shelves, they can draw out three shelves with the books on and count them! This shows they the problem and helps them to see what it is that they are solving.

Daily Word Problem

Getting students used to year 4 word problems is really vital to their understanding! Having them consistently complete word problems is an effective way of ensuring that they won’t forget how to solve word problems. Why not introduce a daily word problem? Get their brains warmed up in the morning by giving them their daily word problem!

A great way to keep students familiar with this style of question is to incorporate word problems into different topics, such as fractions!


Emile is an excellent game-based online resource for primary schools! 

Children will love playing on Emile and will be beyond excited to play the engaging and educational games! 

With the assess, practise and achieve model, Emile is sure to allocate the right work for each individual! 

Get your students learning year 4 word problems effectively with Emile today by requesting a demo!

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