Pupils can be offered this set of terms to be cut up into individual terms.

You could ask pupils to group them together in any way they like. Some might go straight to like terms, others may have a pile of numbers, a pile of letters. Others might do positive or negative. This is an opportunity to explain likeness and have pupils group the like terms together.

The first task that can be performed is asking pupils what they get when they combing the terms. From experience, I would encourage pupils to physically lay the terms out for each question – side by side.

There is then opportunity to probe their understanding a bit further in this next couple of tasks.