Solve Two Step Word Problems using Addition and Subtraction

Two step word problems take a strong level of focus. As you read each component of the word problem it’s a good idea to cross it out. We are going to focus specifically on addition and subtraction during this lesson, this word problem will include two steps. Take a look at the word problem below:


There are 38 kids playing at the beach, 11 more join later. After the sun sets, 16 kids leave the beach. How many kids are left on the beach after sunset?


Step One: There are 38 kids playing at the beach and 11 more join.

38+11=49 kids


Step Two: 49-16= 33 Kids


Answer: There are 33 kids left on the beach after sunset.


The two most important steps when solving two step word problems are making sure you understand what the question is asking and determining which operation you will be using. In this case it was either addition or subtraction. Also, be sure to complete ALL steps. Sometimes when solving a multiple choice question they will try to trick you by providing an answer that answers the first step only.


Try this equation on your own:


Drew started with 58 pieces of Candy. He shared 18 pieces with Carolina. Then he shared 11 with Bruce. How many pieces of Candy do Drew Have left?


Step One:


Step Two:

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