book icon
Lesson plan

Percent Word Problems Lesson Plan


In this lesson, we’ll introduce the concept of solving percent word problems for `6`th graders with a friendly graphic table. This will allow students the opportunity to keep organized and create the percent equation to be able to solve. Students will explore how the table can be useful to create the percent equation and make solving percent word problems a tad bit less stressful. You can expect this lesson with additional practice to take one `45`-minute class period.

Grade 6
Step-by-step help

ByteLearn gives students targeted feedback and hints based on their specific mistakes

Preview step-by-step-help

arrow icon


Students will be able to solve percent word problems.


  • Teacher Slideshow
  • Worksheet
  • Online Practice

How to Teach Percent Word Problems

What is the same or different

What is the same and what is different is a great way for a teacher to determine students' current understanding of percent word problems. Display slide `1` for students and ask them to note down their answers and the reasons for their answers. Encourage students to write as many answers as they can think of.

edit icon

Copy these Google Slides for free

Share ideas with the class

You can have students share their thoughts with a partner first. Then invite a few students to share with the class. Look for students who say things like:

  • The blue scenario has a percent and a part and is missing the whole.
  • The green scenario has a percent and a whole and is missing the part.
  • The pink scenario has a part and a whole and is missing the percent.
  • Each scenario is about the same penguins at the same zoo.

Students might explain these ideas in different ways. It’s important that you rephrase their statements to get students thinking about part, whole, and percent.

Percent Equation

Transition to slide `2` and introduce students to the percent equation, percent times whole equals part. Explain that this equation can be used to find any of the missing pieces. It’s also helpful to note here that the percent in the equation should be converted to a decimal.

Find the part

Show students slide `3` and read the example as a class. They will already be familiar with the scenario. The hardest part for students is deciding what information they’re given and what they need to find. Slides `4-6` model how you can help decipher the problem sentence by sentence. Instead of showing these slides to the students, you would underline the information in a specific color and then write the information in the table using that color. 

This is the simplest type of percent problem for students, since they just need to multiply to solve! Remind students that we first need to convert `80%` to a decimal, then multiply `0.8` by `20` to find that there are `16` emperor penguins at the zoo, which matches with what we already knew from the previous scenarios!

Insist that students write an answer sentence at the end of their calculations to see if their answer makes sense.

Find the percent

The next example has students finding the missing percent. Similar to the last problem, ask students to figure out what information they’re given and have them put `x` in for the missing information (percent). Students will recognize that to find the missing percent, they need to divide the part by the whole, or `240` by `320`, giving them `0.75`. Ask students if that is the final answer. Likely, students will recognize that `0.75` is in decimal form and they need to multiply by `100`, or move the decimal two places to the right to get their answer of `75%`. 

Find the whole

We find the whole using the same percent equation. Try having students fill out the table on their own this time. Ask them how they knew where to put the `x`. Once they’ve filled in the given information and put an `x` for the whole, they can begin solving. 

Students should try solving this problem on their own. Ask them to share their work. Remind students to convert the percent to a decimal, then they’ll divide `84` by `0.7`, determining that there were `120` total students on the field trip. 

What is the point of the equation?

Instead of giving three different equations or formulas for finding the part, percent, and whole, it is simpler to have just one equation to remember. This equation is quite intuitive since when we say `20%` of the whole is something, we would write it as `20% \cdot` whole. 

Partner Practice

Hand out the Partner Practice worksheet and allow students to partner up to solve the `3` problems. They should use the same strategies we used as a class. You may want to encourage students to use highlighters or colored pencils to find the different pieces of information from the problem to plug into the percent equation.

Percent Word Problem Practice

After students have completed the partner practice, it’s time for some independent practice! ByteLearn gives you access to tons of percent word problem activities. Check out their online practice and assign them to your students for classwork and/or homework!

notepad icon
Percent Word Problem Practice
Problem 1 of 7
<p>Mr. Cooley's class is participating in a walk-a-thon to raise money for their local animal shelter. During the walk, `10` students walked less than a mile, and `15` students walked at least one mile. </p><p>What percent of the students walked at least one mile?</p>

View this practice

arrow icon