4th Grade Math Story Problems and Answers

Math story problems, also called word problems, are one of the most challenging aspects of math for many students, but they're also one of the most effective ways for 4th graders to learn how abstract math concepts apply to real life. Keep reading for suggestions on writing your own word problems, as well as some samples.

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What to Keep in Mind When Writing Your Own Math Story Problems

In 4th grade, students advance their studies in multiplication by using multi-digit numbers and decimals. Your 4th grader also will continue to study fractions, including adding and subtracting complex fractions and multiplying fractions by whole numbers. Additionally, he or she will learn to classify and analyze 2-dimensional geometric shapes. When writing story problems for your child at home, you might consider including real-world situations, like money problems for multiplication review or recipe calculations for fraction problems.

Sample Story Problems by Concept

Multiplication

1. For Halloween, you want to buy three masks that cost $14.50 each. How much will you spend in all?

2. Your favorite clothing store is having a sale. You can buy four shirts for $11.30 each or three pairs of pants for $21.20 each. Which is the least expensive option?

3. Over the summer, you mow lawns for five hours for $8.35 an hour. Your brother washes cars for three hours for $10.75 an hour. Who made more money?

Fractions

1. Mandy rode her bike three times over the course of three days. On the first day, she biked 1/2 of a mile. On the second day, she rode for 2/3 of a mile. On the final day, she rode for 5/6 of a mile. How many miles did Mandy ride in total?

2. When making soup, Tom used 1/5 of a teaspoon of salt, 3/10 of a teaspoon of pepper and 7/10 of a teaspoon of paprika. How many teaspoons of spice did Tom use in all?

3. In your class, 1/4 of the students play an instrument in the band. If there are 28 students in your class, how many of them play an instrument?

4. During a snowball fight, 5/7 of the players are wearing hats. If there are 14 kids playing, how many are wearing hats?

Geometry

In 4th grade, students learn about parallel and perpendicular lines, as well as right angles. Help your child identify these geometric concepts in the real world. For instance, railroad tracks are parallel lines because they don't intersect. Also, many street signs feature four right angles, while the streets that meet at a crosswalk are perpendicular to one another.

Parallel and perpendicular lines and right angles are often used in art as well. Encourage your child to think about these shapes when he or she is drawing. For instance, to draw buildings, you use perpendicular lines, which are at a right angle to the ground.

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