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BBC Skillswise: Formulas


Activity Description


BBC Factsheets and Worksheets
Source: BBC Factsheets and Worksheets (License: Protected by Copyright (c) [i.e. screenshot])

In this activity, students watch a short video on Formulas, receive instruction with the help of fact sheets, complete worksheets, and finally take a quiz on the topic. Formula factsheets include:

  • Formulas
  • What is a formula?
  • Understanding terms and expressions
  • Understanding formulas
  • Working with formulas

Downloadable Worksheets include:

  • Matching problems with calculations
  • Missing numbers
  • Solving problems
  • Changing word problems into symbols and numbers
  • Identifying formulas
  • Identifying number patterns
  • Identifying sequences
  • Using a formula to find a value
  • Writing formulas in words


  1. Check that the Example Web Site (link above) is not blocked at your school.
  2. Review the different factsheets and worksheets for this lesson and decide on what you want to focus on in this lesson. There are no longer quizzes available; however, you can use one of the worksheets as a quiz or create your own. All worksheets have tips for tutors and answer sheets.
  3. If you are not in a computer lab, you will need to print the various fact sheets and worksheets for your students unless you are doing this as a group and have it projected in the front of the room.

Teacher Tips

  • Be aware that since this comes from the UK that all measurements are in meters, liters, and monetary values are in British pounds.
  • If you teach in a computer lab, each student can work on the worksheets independently.

Program Areas

  • ASE: High School Equivalency Preparation
  • ABE: Adult Basic Education
  • ASE: High School Diploma


  • Intermediate
  • High

Lesson Plan


Review previous content as it is related to formulas


1.    Introduce the activity by showing and then discussing the video about the importance of formulas in daily life (1 minute). This video is not available outside the UK. This is another video with similar information (3 minutes).
2.    Place students in groups of two or three to discuss the video and why we need formulas.
3.    Give students time to share their ideas with the whole class.


1. Explain the selected factsheets and/or worksheets. Instead of printing copies of factsheets or worksheets, consider projecting them on the whiteboard. 
2. Present only one topic at a time and then use the worksheet to reinforce what the students have learned.

Engagement Enhancement

1. You can give different problems to different groups and then have someone from the group come to the front of the class and explain how they got the answer.
2. Walk around the room overseeing the groups and identifying any gaps in their understanding.
3. Have students show the rest of the class how they got their answers.


Give a formative assessment to check for understanding. Reteach any content needing clarification.

Engagement Extension
  • Divide students into small groups and share how formulas are part of their daily lives.
  • If time allows, have each group share with the whole class.



  • Math
    • Algebra


  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
    • 1.OA.2 - Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
    • 3.OA.1-3 - Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division.
    • 3.OA.9 - Solve problems involving the four operations, and identify and explain patterns in arithmetic.
    • 4.OA.1-3 - Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.
    • 5.OA.1-2 - Write and interpret numerical expressions.
  • Expressions and Equations
    • 6.EE.1-4 - Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.
    • 6.EE.5-8 - Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.
    • 6.EE.9 - Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.
  • Algebra: Seeing Structure in Expressions
    • A.SSE.1-2 - Interpret the structure of expressions.
    • A.SSE.3-3a - Write expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems.
  • Algebra: Creating Equations
    • A.CED.1-4 - Create equations that describe numbers or relationships.
  • Algebra: Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities
    • A.REI.1-2 - Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning.
    • A.REI.3-4 - Solve equations and inequalities in one variable.


pattern, perimeter, reverse , sequence, Skillswise, symbol, volume, word problem, algebra, BBC, cost, distance, formula


I live outside the UK. Can I access your content? If you are outside the UK or Crown Dependencies, you will not be able to access our content. Unfortunately, this includes British holdings and institutions abroad
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.