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NSW Syllabuses

Stage 2 - Activity 1

What could the question be?

Description of activity

  1. Students are presented with the scenario: ‘The answer is 12. What could the question be?’
  2. They are asked to record a variety of questions, including number sentences and word problems.
  3. Students are asked to ensure that they use each of the operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  4. They are also asked to include different types of numbers (whole numbers up to four digits, fractions, decimals).

The suggested time allocation for this activity is 20 minutes.


Students have used concrete materials, mental strategies and informal written strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They have used formal written algorithms and have applied place value to solve addition and subtraction problems. Students have compared and represented fractions with denominators 2, 4 and 8, and 5, 10 and 100, and decimals to two decimal places. They have asked questions that could be explored using mathematics in relation to Stage 2


MA2-1WM uses appropriate terminology to describe, and symbols to represent, mathematical ideas
MA2-2WM selects and uses appropriate mental or written strategies, or technology, to solve problems
MA2-4NA applies place value to order, read and represent numbers of up to five digits
MA2-5NA uses mental and written strategies for addition and subtraction involving two-, three-, four- and five-digit numbers
MA2-6NA uses mental and informal written strategies for multiplication and division
MA2-7NA represents, models and compares commonly used fractions and decimals

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)
Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • construct a variety of mathematical problems using different operations
  • demonstrate number relationships using the four operations and whole numbers, fractions and decimals.

Graded student work samples - mid STAGE

Grade - AGrade - B
Grade - CGrade - D
Grade - E