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2nd Grade Word Problems

written by: Elizabeth Wistrom • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 3/2/2012

The second grade word problems found here may be used for additional practice, or for testing and placement purposes. Also offered, is information about CGI math and its use in the classroom.

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    3277193678 464166c8ab Word problems are a fun and easy way to test students' mathematical ability level or provide additional skills practice. They also provide a unique opportunity for differentiating math instruction within the classroom setting.

    The second grade word problems offered below are classified based on the Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) theory. If used for testing purposes, they should be administered in the order they are given below. The problems and problem types have already been ordered from easy to most difficult.

    Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicago2016/3277193678/

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    Addition Problems - Result Unknown

    1. Tommy had 5 baseball cards. Beth gave him 6 more baseball cards. Now how many baseball cards does Tommy have? (Join - Result Unknown)

    2. There were 6 kids on the soccer field. 22 kids decided to join in. Now how many kids are on the soccer field? (Join - Result Unknown)

    3. There were 29 pennies in the piggy bank. You put 28 more pennies in the piggy bank. Now how many pennies are in the piggy bank? (Join - Result Unknown without Regrouping)

    4. You have 69 pieces of candy in your Halloween bucket. You get 23 more pieces of candy from Trick or Treating. Now how many pieces of candy are in your Halloween bucket? (Join - Result Unknown with Regrouping)

    5. There are 26 crayons in your pencil bag. Your mom buys you another pack of 34 crayons. How many crayons will you have all together? (Join - Result Unknown with Zero as a Placeholder)

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    Subtraction Problems - Result Unknown

    1. Finn has 9 goldfish. 4 of the goldfish die. How many goldfish are left? (Separate - Result Unknown)

    2. You have 28 M&M candies. You eat 6 of them. How many M&M candies are left? (Separate - Result Unknown)

    3. There are 58 kids on the school bus. 22 get off. How many kids are left on the school bus? (Separate - Result Unknown without Regrouping)

    4. 31 birds are looking for worms in the grass. 18 of the birds fly away. How many birds are left looking for worms on the grass? (Separate - Result Unknown with Regrouping)

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    Part Part Whole Problems

    1. Jane has six old, brown sheets of drawing paper and four old, yellow sheets of drawing paper. How many pieces of drawing paper does she have? (Part Part Whole - Whole Unknown)

    2. Claudie has 19 pieces of candy. 7 pieces are bubble gum. The rest are Skittles. How many pieces of candy are Skittles? (Part Part Whole - Part Unknown)

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    Join - Change Unknown

    1. Robin had 5 pieces of gum. Her brother gave her some more pieces of gum. Now Robin has 13 pieces of gum. How many pieces of gum did Robin's brother give her? (Join - Change Unknown)

    2. You have 22 baseball cards. I give you some more baseball cards. Now you have 33 baseball cards. How many baseball cards did I give you? (Join - Change Unknown)

    3. Sam had 72 Pokémon cards. He won some more from his friend. Now Sam has 94 Pokémon cards. How many Pokémon cards did Sam win from his friend? (Join - Change Unknown without Regrouping)

    4. Mrs. Zarling has 37 dollars. How many more dollars will she have to earn to have 53 dollars? (Join - Change Unknown with Regrouping)

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    Compare Problems

    1. Bobby has 9 books. Kristi has 5 books. How many more books does Bobby have then Kristi? (Compare - Difference Unknown)

    2. Mrs. Wistrom has 22 students. Mrs. Power has 28. How many more students does Mrs. Power have than Mrs. Wistrom? (Compare - Difference Unknown)

    3. Sara has 62 crackers. Mary has 27 crackers. How many fewer crackers does Mary have than Sara? (Change - Difference Unknown)

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    Start Unknown Problems

    1. Tommy had some balloons. His mom gave him 9 more balloons for his birthday. Then, Tommy had 15 balloons. How many balloons did Tommy have to start with? (Join - Start Unknown)

    2. A bird had some worms for her babies. She found 19 more worms to feed her babies. Now she has 34 worms for her babies. How many worms did the bird have at the start? (Join - Start Unknown)

    3. I have some marbles. I buy 54 more marbles at the store. Now I have 72 marbles. How many marbles did I have to start with? (Join - Start Unknown)

    4. Alex had some candles for our Jack o' Lanterns. He used 7 of them. Now he has 3 left. How many candles did Alex have to start with? (Separate - Start Unknown)

    5. Mrs. Wistrom had some kids in her class. 10 kids left. Now she has 30 kids in her class. How many kids did Mrs. Wistrom have to start with? (Separate - Start Unknown)

    6. There were some gumballs in a machine. Someone bought 27 of them. Now there are 18 left. How many gumballs were in the machine to start with? (Separate - Start Unknown)

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    Continue reading at Bright Hub to learn more about using CGI math in the classroom, or to find additional second grade word problems for money or addition and subtraction.

    Need problems which are a little easier? Bright Hub can help with that, too! Continue reading for First Grade story problems.