ALEX Lesson Plans
Subject: Mathematics (3  4), or Science (3  5) Title: Sailing on the Wind
Description: This is a handson lesson that uses science and the steps of the Engineering Design Process to determine important properties in sail design materials and learn how to harness wind power. Students will learn that a problem can be solved in different ways using different materials, properties of materials change its effectiveness, conducting tests help determine versatility of materials, and that wind can be harnessed to do work.
This lesson is adapted from Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills, Lesson 3: Testing Sail Designs (produced by the Museum of Boston for the Engaging Youth in Engineering program.) Visit http://www.mos.org/EiE for more information.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Subject: Mathematics (3  4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: A Time To Travel!
Description: Students will research how transportation has changed throughout the years. Students will construct a timeline of transportation through the years.
Subject: Mathematics (3  5) Title: "Ridin' Along In My Automobile"
Description: Students will research prices of used cars to discover how automobiles lose their value over time. Students will create a chart to record their information, use their chart to graph their data, and find measures of central tendency of their data. Students will present their findings and discuss the results.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
Subject: Mathematics (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: POPPIN' FOR POPCORN!
Description: Students will be using different flavors of popcorn to conduct surveys in class to create graphs. This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Subject: English Language Arts (3), or Mathematics (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Tulip Graphing
Description: Students will create an ongoing graph using units of measurement correctly. This graph will represent the growth of a tulip (or other type of flower).This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Subject: Character Education (K  12), or Mathematics (3  4), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Ice Cream Sundae Survey
Description: Students quickly realize the importance of learning how to read and find information in charts, graphs, and tables compared to finding the same information written in a paragraph. This is a fun, high energy lesson!This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Subject: Mathematics (3  4), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: What's Your Favorite Chocolate Bar?
Description: This lesson allows students to complete a school wide survey. Students will complete the survey to find out which candy bar, between Snickers, Butterfinger, Twix, Hershey Bar, Crunch, and Other, is the favorite among students and faculty. Students will create different kinds of graphs (horizontal bar graph, vertical bar graph, and tally chart) using Microsoft Excel to show their results.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Subject: Mathematics (3), or Science (4) Title: Translucent, Transparent, and Opaque Objects
Description: Students will become familiar with transparent, translucent, and opaque objects. Students predict whether items are transparent, translucent, or opaque. Finally, students will show what they have learned by producing a song, poem, cheer, rap, or comic strip.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Subject: Mathematics (3), or Science (4) Title: Meteor or Meteorite
Description: Students will learn the difference between a meteor and a meteorite. Students will perform an experiment to discover how the size and weight of an object determines the size of the impact crater.
Subject: Mathematics (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Out Of This World
Description: During this lesson, students will begin to realize that the solar system is a vast unexplored frontier. Students will have the opportunity to explore the different aspects of our solar system.
Subject: Mathematics (3  6), or Science (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Can Plants Be Grown in Space?
Description: This lesson allows students to explore finding a solution to growing plants in space. Students will have the opportunity to conduct a scientific investigation to discover if plants can grow in space. Students will also take a virtual field trip and discuss their experiment results with experts from NASA.
Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Mathematics (3  4), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: HeartLine Express
Description: During this lesson, students will plan and execute a weeklong schoolwide valentine sales business. From the Grand Plan to job applications, interviews, valentine production, advertising, sales and profits students are immersed in the job experience and using a variety of math skills.
Subject: Mathematics (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Let's Go Spreadsheet Silly
Description: In this lesson students will become familiar with spreadsheets. They will learn how to collect and input data into a spreadsheet and how to create graphs from the spreadsheet data.
Subject: Mathematics (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Mysterious Matter
Description: During this lesson, students will have the opportunity to create a mysterious substance. They will use experiments to try to determine the state of matter of various substances. This lesson is a fun, handson way to get students excited about matter.
Subject: Mathematics (3  5), or Science (3), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: The Water Cycle
Description: During this lesson, students will learn that water is constantly being recycled through the atmosphere and how this affects us. Students will explore the water cycle on the Internet. Students create different types of weather situations to see how the water cycle works. Mathematics skills will be used to determine results from the observations.
Subject: English Language Arts (4  5), or Mathematics (3) Title: We're in a Pickle
Description: A handson lesson in which children work together to discover adjectives, write a descriptive paragraph, and apply math principles to produce a bar graph interpreting results from the lesson.
Subject: Mathematics (3  6), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Now You See Me...Now You Don't!
Description: An animal’s physical characteristics, such as its body color, may give it a better chance of survival. For example, the body colors of many animals blend with their background. In this investigation, students will see that body color may help some animals survive by making them nearly invisible to predators. This lesson is designed to introduce students to the concept of camouflage as an animal adaptation.
Subject: English Language Arts (2), or Mathematics (K  3) Title: Glorious Sunflowers
Description: In this lesson students will identify, measure and graph seeds and other characteristics of sunflowers and write descriptive and narrative paragraphs about sunflowers.
Subject: English Language Arts (3), or Mathematics (3) Title: Inch by Inch
Description: In this lesson students will do a variety of learning activities while they meet many math, science, and language arts objectives. Students will measure items, analyze and record data, listen to instructions, and follow directions. They will also follow a recipe to make a creative dessert.
Thinkfinity Lesson Plans
Subject: Mathematics,Social Studies Title: State Names
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Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students use multiple representations to analyze the frequency of letters that occur in the names of all 50 states. In the process, they learn how various representations, including steamandleaf plots, boxandwhisker plots, and histograms, can be used to organize the data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics,Science Title: Rescue Mission Game
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students play a game to learn about the four forces of flight: lift, drag, thrust, and gravity. Before playing the game, students conduct a probability experiment with spinners and record their results in tally tables and bar graphs. They then use their findings to select spinners with the greatest probability of helping them win the game. In a portion of the game, students use ordered pairs to plot points on a coordinate grid to show their flight path. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Maintaining the Balance
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Description: In this lesson for grades 3 and 4, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on patterns and relations that can be developed from the exploration of balance, mass, length of the mass arm, and the position of the fulcrum. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics,Science Title: Weather Watchers
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students collect and analyze data about the weather and learn to make a stemandleaf plot. They spend a month collecting data on high and low temperatures and then work in groups to determine how best to display their data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Collecting, Representing, and Interpreting Data Using Spreadsheets and Graphing Software: Representing and Interpreting Data
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Description: This is part two of a twopart eexample from Illuminations that illustrates how weather data can be collected and examined using these spreadsheets and graphing software. In this second part, Representing and Interpreting Data, students use the graphing functions of a spreadsheet to help them interpret data. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath Investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: PizzaTopping Combinations
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students focus on gathering and interpreting data about pizza. They explore the mathematical idea of combinations of two items by imagining that they are working in a pizzeria that offers four different toppings. Students then share their findings with their fellow classmates. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics  Applied Mathematics  Social Studies  Comparative Political Systems  Social Studies  Geography Title: Charting Countries of the World
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Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students collect information about countries then enter that information on a chart that they use to compare the sizes, populations, and political characteristics of the different countries. Using this information, students are able to ask and answer geographic questions as they relate to the division and control of Earth's surface. Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Numbers and Me
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on the uses of numbers. Students identify and use numbers in a reallife setting and interpret survey data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics  Statistics  Social Studies  Geography Title: Top Ten Cities
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Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students identify and study the most populous cities in their state, province, or country. They also learn about population distributions. Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Health,Mathematics Title: What Is Your Favorite?
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students make human line plots and circle graphs and then draw them on paper and use a Web site to generate them. Posing and answering questions using the graphs gives the students an opportunity to apply their problemsolving and communication skills. They also find the mean and median of a set of data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics,Science Title: Collecting, Representing, and Interpreting Data Using Spreadsheets and Graphing Software: Collecting and Examining Weather Data
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Description: Spreadsheets and graphing software are tools for organizing, representing, and comparing data. This lesson from Illuminations illustrates how weather data can be collected and examined using these tools. In the first part, Collecting and Examining Weather Data, students organize and then examine data that has been collected over a period of time in a spreadsheet. In the second part, Representing and Interpreting Data, students use the graphing functions of a spreadsheet to help them interpret data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Pizza, Pizza!
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Description: In this threelesson unit, from Illuminations, students gather, represent and interpret data about pizza choices. They draw conclusions from the data and communicate their findings to fellow classmates by making graphs. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Water, Water
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students compare the amount of water they use in daily life with the amount allotted for each person each day on a Space Shuttle. They estimate and measure the heaviness of, and amount of space occupied by, a gallon of water. They collect, organize, graph, analyze, and interpret data from their investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Numerical Data
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students pose and refine questions that can be addressed with numerical data. They consider aspects of data collection such as how to obtain measurements and record the data they collect. They represent and then analyze the ordered numerical data by describing the shape and important features of a set of data and compare related data sets, with an emphasis on how the data are distributed. In collecting data, students measure with standard units and carry out simple unit conversions. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Circle Grapher
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Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized circle graph as well as display preset circle graphs. They can choose from one of 3 predetermined data sets, or input their own data into the applet. In addition to the circle graph, a table of the data is also included. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: What's in a Name
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Description: In this sixlesson unit, from Illuminations, students explore sets of names and the characteristics of their names, and then create bar graphs, pictographs, glyphs and circle graphs. They also find the range, compute measures of center, and create box and whisker plots. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Survey of Hair and Eye Colors
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on the uses of numbers. The activity, which serves as an introduction to statistics, involves data collection and interpretation through the use of a survey. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics,Social Studies Title: Accessing and Investigating Population Data
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Description: This unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on population projections on the national and state levels. Students analyze population projections for the United States, describe the shape of that data set, analyze and display data, and draw conclusions. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Super Bowl Scavenger Hunt
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students bring home an activity sheet designed to have families examine some enjoyable (and, sometimes, obscure) questions using mathematics during the Super Bowl game. The questions require that the families make observations about the game. Students distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to be used in problem solving. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Marble Mania Facilitator Page
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Description: This Science NetLinks Afterschool activity introduces kids to probability and chance with a fun interactive. By flipping coins and pulling marbles out of a virtual bag, afterschool facilitators will help students begin to develop a basic understanding of probabilities, how they are determined, and how the outcome of an experiment can be affected by the number of times it is conducted. Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Information Represented Graphically
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Description: In this threelesson unit, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they analyze information represented graphically. Students are asked to discuss, describe, read, and write about the graphs and the information they contain. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Describing Data
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students create glyphs based on the characteristics of their names. They also enter related data into a spreadsheet and sort it in several ways. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics Title: Making Beds
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children s literature. They listen to the story How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller and then explore the need for a standard unit of measure. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Number and Operations Web Links
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Description: This collection of Web links, reviewed and presented by Illuminations, offers teachers and students information about and practice in concepts related to arithmetic. Users can read the Illuminations Editorial Board's review of each Web site, or choose to link directly to the sites. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics,Social Studies Title: State Population Projections
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Description: In Illuminations lesson plan, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations about population projection, students examine the United States Census Bureau Web site to investigate projections of the total population of states from 1995 to 2025. Using the provided data, students analyze statistics from five states of their choice, develop specific research questions using the data, and create three graphs to compare and contrast the information. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: What Counties Are Your Favorite?
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students use their knowledge to gather data on ten of their favorite counties (places they might like to live, visit, etc.) within a specific state. Students hone their place value skills by representing numbers in various ways, including standard, written, and expanded form. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Name Your Tune
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students analyze information represented graphically. Students are asked to discuss, describe, read, and write about the graphs and the information they contain. The emphasis on using components of language is natural for students and helps them clarify the information depicted. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Communicating about Mathematics Using Games: Playing Fraction Tracks
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Description: Mathematical games can foster mathematical communication as students explain and justify their moves to one another. In addition, games can motivate students and engage them in thinking about and applying concepts and skills. This eexample from Illuminations contains an interactive version of a game that can be used in the grades 35 classroom to support students' learning about fractions. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards of School Mathematics (PSSM). The eexamples are part of the electronic version of the PSSM document. Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Geography,Mathematics,Science Title: Track Leatherback Sea Turtles
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Description: Activity. Students plot the migration routes of actual leatherback sea turtles, which satellites are tracking as the turtles cross the Atlantic Ocean. Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Favorite Pizza Toppings
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students focus on gathering and interpreting data about pizza. Students make a bar graph to display information about their favorite pizza toppings, analyze the results from the graph, and then share their findings with fellow classmates. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Box Plotter
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Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized box plot as well as display preset box plots. They can choose from one of six predetermined data sets or input their own data into the applet. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Telling Racing Stories
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students model races in which runners start from various positions. They enter numbers in a table of values, model races on a coordinate grid, and compare the results. Students begin to develop an understanding of linear relationships. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Shorts and Shirts
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students are encouraged to discover all the combinations that can be made from a given number of factors. This activity strengthens the students problemsolving skills (including elimination and collection of organized data) and their ability to draw conclusions. The use of higherlevel thinking skills (synthesis, analysis, and evaluations) is the overall goal. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: What's in a Name: Looking Back and Moving Forward
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students create graphs based on the characteristics of sets of names and find measures of center and spread. They construct a bar graph and a pictograph that displays the length of the names of the states, and then they construct a graph from the data and find the mean, median, and mode of the related data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Alphabet Soup
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students construct boxandwhisker plots. They use them to identify the mean, mode, median, and range of the data set. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Class Attributes
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students create their own classroom survey or use the reproducible Classroom Survey handout to study the class and describe the set (class) in fractional parts. This lesson is integrated with other areas of the math curriculum, including data analysis and statistics. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Sticks and Stones
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Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students play Sticks and Stones, a game based on the Apache game Throw Sticks, which was played at multination celebrations. Students collect data, investigate the likelihood of various moves, and use basic ideas of expected value to determine the average number of turns needed to win a game. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Heights of Students in Our Class
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on the uses of numbers. They display and interpret data on the heights of students in the class using a boxandwhisker plot. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Let's Compare
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students collect numerical data, generate graphs, and compare two data sets. They also find the mean, mode, median, and range of the data sets. Communication and problem solvingskills are used in this lesson. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics,Science Title: Plastic Packaging
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students investigate data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment. Students gather and graph data about plastic packaging and recycling and then interpret the graph to assist in developing a recycling plan. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: Representing Data
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Description: This unit of four lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on the application of mathematics to realworld situations. Students must deal with data to complete an organized chart for the purpose of transferring information to a graph or for generalizing a rule. The unit includes an individual activity for four different levels, 12, 34, 56, and 78. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2
Subject: Mathematics Title: Skin Weight
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students work with data to complete an organized chart for the purpose of transferring information to a graph or for the purpose of generalizing a rule. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Uncertainty
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Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students analyze collections of both their own data and that of others. They create data distributions in order to determine the highest, lowest, and middle values, as well as pile ups and gaps, for a particular set of data. Students are also introduced to the notion of sample size and how it can affect results. Finally, students begin to explore the questions that can be answered based on a set of data, and the additional questions it might prompt one to ask. Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: The Clucking Chicken
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students choose meals from a menu and then construct a box plot. They use the plot to identify the mean, mode, median, and range of the data set. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5
Subject: Mathematics Title: The Eyes Have It
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students collect data about the eye color of class members. They create bar graphs with several classifications of data. They pose and answer questions about the data by looking at the graph and then find the range and mode. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2
Subject: Mathematics Title: What's the Weather?
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students analyze information represented graphically. Students discuss, describe, read, and write about the graphs and the information they contain. The emphasis on using components of language is natural for students and helps them clarify the information depicted. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2

