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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: How Long Will It Take?
Description: In this lesson, students will participate in a group activity using a sponge ball and a growing human circle.  The students will be added to a circle in groups of two and will pass the sponge ball from hand to hand until it returns to the "starting" hand; all while being timed.  The data will be recorded each time a new group is added to the circle.  At the end of the activity the students will be able to construct a scattered plot, using Illuminations, as well as, make a prediction about the future.  This activity will help students interpret relative frequencies.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Science (5)
Title: Lip Balm Science
Description: During this lesson, students will make three types of lip balm. They will then predict which lip balm they think will be preferred by testers and test that prediction by collecting data from testers who sample the lip balms. They will analyze the data to check their predictions. This lesson is a collaboration lesson between Margaret Rice and Kay Emfinger.


Subject: Mathematics (6)
Title: Who Bounces Best?
Description: This is a cooperative learning, kinesthetic and presentation lesson.  Students will use the computer to create graphs/charts to display data collected by counting the number of successful bounces when bouncing a basketball for 30 seconds.  Students will make predictions and explain them. 


Subject: Mathematics (6)
Title: Getting to Know Your Classmates Using Bar Graphs
Description: Students will collect data from class using surveys.  Students survey classmates concerning favorite movies, favorite color, shoe size, time spent studying, brand of cell phone and etc.  From the data they will create bar graphs using an Illuminations website.  Students will post printed bar graphs on the word wall as examples of bar graphs.  They will discuss bar graph results to class. Students will find data for their own school and draw a bar graph.  Students can use any data that is provided for their own school.  For example, data can be organized to graph students per grade in their own school. 


Subject: Mathematics (6)
Title: M & M's Probability (extension of M and M's Math)
Description: The activity incorporates the M and M's Internet Website into a probability activities involving the most prevalent colors.  This lesson allows students to create virtual bar graphs with M and M's. 


Subject: Mathematics (6)
Title: Misleading Graphs Are Da'PITS!
Description: In this interactive lesson, students will discover how creating an incorrect graph will display misleading information. Through viewing and discussing a variety of graphs, the students will identify 5 components that graphs must contain to be accurate. The students will explore a variety of graphs and examine them to determine if the graphs are misleading. This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Great Golly Graphs
Description: This activity allows students to create their own survey question and ask people around the school to see the results. Students will take the results and display it in several types of graphs. The class will also discuss biased graphs and survey questions. This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 12)
Title: My Peanut Butter is Better Than Yours!
Description: The students will engage in the process of statistical data comparing data using tables and scatterplots. The students will compare data using measures of center (mean and median) and measures of spread (range). This lesson can be done with the worksheet or adapted to let the students use a graphing calculator to create their own scatter plot from the data table. This lesson is modified and adapted from Samples and Populations, Connected Math, Prentice Hall- Publisher.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: Arts Education (7 - 12), or Mathematics (6 - 7)
Title: The Name Game (incorporates measures of central tendency and probability).
Description: This Investigation is adapted from the Connected Math Unit "Data About Us". This investigation develops some introductory statistical and probability techniques. Students collect and organize data about the numbers of letters in their names. This open-ended problem will help you to assess the techniques your students have developed to organize, summarize and display data.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 (6)
Title: Representing Possibilities
Description: The students will work through problems that will be represented in tables, equations, and graphs. This lesson was adapted from NCTM Student Math Notes, May/June 2007.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 (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Calculating the mean, mode, median and range using spreadsheet software
Description: This lesson plan involves using spreadsheet software to aid in calculating the mean, mode, median, and range of the distance each student in the class travels from home to school each day. It also involves comparing the use of spreadsheet software for calculations versus doing calculations by hand. It will also help students better understand spreadsheet software including terminology and functions.


Subject: Mathematics (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Hardships During the Great Depression
Description: Students will be divided into groups of 2 or more. Each group will be given a choice of jobs that were available during the 1930s. Students will learn to manage their cost of living and household expenses.


Subject: Mathematics (5 - 6), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Watch That Plant Grow
Description: This lesson allows students to explore horticulture within a controlled environment, a greenhouse. Students engage in hands-on activities as they grow their own plants and chart data concerning the conditions related to plant growth in a greenhouse. The data collected is recorded on a spreadsheet to aid in growth prediction over a specified amount of time. This lesson should precede other lessons regarding research on plants grown in a greenhouse.


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.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics
Title: Information Represented Graphically      Add Bookmark
Description: In this three-lesson 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: Measuring Shadows      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students determine the pattern (length and direction) of shadows cast by sunlight during a several month period. They develop an interpretation of the daily and seasonal patterns and variations observed.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Health - Disease - Mathematics - Applied Mathematics - Science - Biology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Africa's Struggle With AIDS      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students come to understand the enormity of the impact of AIDS on the population of Africa by comparing its effect there with its effect on the population of the world in general, and especially on that of the United States. After locating Africa on a world map, and individual sub-Saharan nations on a map of Africa, students examine charts and graphs to find and compare data about AIDS in Africa, the world, and the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Mathematics as Communication      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, focuses on interpreting and creating graphs that are functions of time. Students complete four activity sheets that focus on graphs of time vs. speed and how many times an event occurred in a specific amount of time.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Count on Math      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, students develop number sense through activities involving collection, representation, and analysis of data. In addition, students practice reading and writing large numbers and use estimation to arrive at appropriate answers.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Getting into the Electoral College      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of 3 lessons from Illuminations, students are engaged in activities involving percentages, ratios, and area, with a focus throughout on building problem-solving and reasoning skills. They are designed to be used individually to fit within curriculum being covered at the time of an election. Additionally, the lesson extensions include many ideas for interdisciplinary activities and some possible school-wide activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: How Could That Happen?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students are challenged to generate election results using number sense and other mathematical skills. Students are also given the opportunity to explore the mathematical questions in a politically challenging context.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Sticks and Stones      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students play Sticks and Stones, a game based on the Apache game Throw Sticks, which was played at multi-nation 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: The Game of SKUNK      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students practice decision-making skills while playing a dice game called Skunk. This allows them to develop a better understanding of mathematical probability and of the concept of choice versus chance.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics - Statistics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Population Pasta      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student activity, from Xpeditions, students investigate population statistics. Using different types of pasta to represent different numbers of people, students experiment with using graphs, maps, and more to illustrate the population densities of various countries.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Playing Games      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of five lessons, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on the uses of numbers. The activities use the theme of games to develop concepts of measurement and statistics. Students are asked to measure distances using standard and nonstandard units and to record their measurement in various tables. Then they are asked to use descriptive statistics to report the results. These lessons include an individual activity for four different levels plus one for parents to complete with their child at home.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2



Subject: Mathematics - Statistics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Interpreting Population Statistics      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to population statistics such as birth, death, and literacy rates. They compare these indicators for several countries, graph the results, and hypothesize about what their graphs indicate about the countries.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Social Studies
Title: State Names      Add Bookmark
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 steam-and-leaf plots, box-and-whisker plots, and histograms, can be used to organize the data.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Exploring Histograms      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students create their own sets of data using an interactive data analysis tool. They then examine how various statistical functions such as mean, median, and standard deviation depend on the choice of data. The lesson includes an interactive online applet.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics, Social Studies
Title: First Class First? Using Data to Explore the Tragedy of the Titanic      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students analyze and interpret data related to the crew and passengers of the Titanic. They draw conclusions to better understand the people who were lost or saved as a result of the disaster, and whether or not social status affected the outcome.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Using NBA Statistics for Box and Whisker Plots      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use information from NBA statistics to make and compare box and whisker plots. The data provided in the lesson come from the NBA, but you could apply the lesson to data from the WNBA or any other sports teams or leagues for which player statistics are available.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Circle Grapher      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized circle graph as well as display pre-set 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: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Airport Numbers      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on the role of numbers and language in real-world situations. These activities use an airport theme to investigate numbers. Students are encouraged to relate the numbers to familiar situations. For example, they use the dimensions of the classroom to describe an airplane.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Arts - Glass , Arts - Sculpture , Arts - Woodworking , Science - Earth science , Science - Geology , Informal Education - Zoo/Aquarium/Nature Center Education
Title: How Do You Unlock a Secret Code?      Add Bookmark
Description: Cryptologists study secret codes. Being able to read encoded German and Japanese communications enabled the Allies to achieve victory in World War II., Join us as we explore how the code was cracked. By the end of this wonder, you may be making and breaking secret codes, too!
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Mean and Median      Add Bookmark
Description: In this applet from Illuminations, students investigate the mean, median, and box-and-whisker plot for a set of data that they create. The data set may contain up to 15 integers, each with a value from 0 to 100.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Histogram Tool      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized histogram as well as display pre-set histograms for various data sets. The tool also allows students to see a frequency table, adjust the interval, and view the median and standard deviation of a data set.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Printing Books      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students explore the relationships among lines, slopes, and y-intercepts using the real-world situation of the printing of their textbook. They use data presented in tables, graphs, and equation form for problem-solving.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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