ALEX Lesson Plans
Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Mathematics (6) Title: If I Could...I Would
Description: This crosscurricular lesson is designed to encourage students to apply measurement skills to real world encounters such as frogs and baseball. A literature text will be utilized to initiate students' thoughts to real world situations, and will follow with application of their physical abilities to the math standards.
This is a College and CareerReady Standards showcase lesson plan.
Subject: Mathematics (6) Title: M&M’s and Blogs: Interpreting Data!
Description: In this handson, technology rich lesson, students will interpret data. The students will define words involving graphs, create a bar graph using M&M’s, and post information from their findings on the internet. The students will also make their own poll and create their own graph using the Create A Graph website.
Subject: Mathematics (6  7) Title: Get on your Mark, Get Set, Go! Collect, Interpret, and Represent Data using a Bar Graph and a Circle Graph.
Description: In collaborative/cooperative groups, students will review basic vocabulary and concepts for data and statistics. Students will create, collect, display, and interpret data in the form of frequency tables, bar graphs and circle graphs.
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 (5  6) Title: Can You Crack The Code?
Description: Students will conduct guided research on the Navaho code talkers and briefly discuss their impact on WWII. Students will also be introduced to other forms of cryptology and use number pattern skills to crack their own code and create a numerical code for classmates to crack.
Subject: Mathematics (6  7), or Credit Recovery 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: English Language Arts (7), or Mathematics (6  7), or Technology Education (6  8) Title: University and College Tuition Webquest
Description: This is a technologybased and interdisciplinary project incorporating mathematics, language, and technology standards. Each student will research on the university's website: location, the mission statement, historical and interesting facts, and the tuition costs (for which they will have to compute the median, range, and mean). Each student will use other Internet sources to find the distance from home. An expository essay explaining the importance of researching about universities and a PowerPoint presentation will also be requirements of the 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, GEMSU Project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  8) Title: How Tall Is Hagrid?
Description: This activity uses data collection method for students to mathematically compute the height and shoulder width of the character Hagrid from Harry Potter. Students will measure their own heights and shoulder widths to come up with a class average. They will use this average to find an approximation of the size of Hagrid.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
Subject: Mathematics (5  6), or Technology Education (6  8) Title: The Average Middle "Schooler"
Description: In this lesson, students will work in groups to find the average middle school student. They will measure members of the group, find the average, and convert to different units of measure. Students will also conduct a survey and display the information in graphs.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
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 (5  6), or Credit Recovery 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 handson 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 (6  7), or Technology Education (3  5) Title: Fly Away With Averages
Description: This is a handson lesson that allows students to gather their own data before finding the mean. This activity is the culminating activity of a mean, median and mode unit.
Thinkfinity Lesson Plans
Subject: Mathematics Title: Measuring Shadows
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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: 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: Count on Math
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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
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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 problemsolving 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 schoolwide activities. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: A Swath of Red
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students estimate the area of the country that voted for the Republican candidate and the area that voted for the Democratic candidate in the 2000 presidential election using a grid overlay. Students then compare the areas to the electoral and popular vote election results. Ratios of electoral votes to area are used to make generalizations about the population distribution of the United States. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics,Science Title: Inclined Plane
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Description: In this multipleday activity, from Illuminations, students time balls rolling down inclines of varying lengths and heights. They then try to make inferences about the relationships among the variables involved. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics,Science Title: The Beat of Your Heart
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Description: This unit of five lessons, from Illuminations, gives students the opportunity to explore applications involving their own heart. The lessons, which span grades PreK8, focus on measuring and data collection. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Playing Games
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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 Title: Spinning Tops
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in games and activities that develop concepts of measurement and statistics. Students are asked to measure distances using standard and nonstandard units and to record their measurements in various tables. Then they are asked to use descriptive statistics to report the results. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Finding the Balance
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Description: In this lesson for grades 7 and 8, 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: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Birthdays and the Binary System: Exploring Binary Numbers in a RealWorld Application
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Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, revolves around patterns and place value in the binary system. Students are drawn into mathematics by the magical ability to guess an unknown number and by the use of birthdays. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Mean and Median
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Description: In this applet from Illuminations, students investigate the mean, median, and boxandwhisker 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: How Could That Happen?
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart 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: Explore More Tables
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students further develop their understanding of ratio, proportion, and least common multiple. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 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: Marble Mania Student Page
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Description: This Science NetLinks Afterschool activity introduces kids to probability and chance with a fun interactive. By pulling marbles out of a virtual bag, 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,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, Social Studies Title: First Class First? Using Data to Explore the Tragedy of the Titanic
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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: Combinations
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Description: This unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on combinations, a subject related to the probabilityandstatistics strand of mathematics. Students are encouraged to discover all the combinations for a given situation using problemsolving skills (including elimination and collection of organized data) and drawing conclusions. The use of higherlevel thinking skills (synthesis, analysis, and evaluations) is the overall goal. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Boxing Up
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students explore the relationship between theoretical and experimental probabilities. They use an interactive box model that allows them to simulate standard probability experiments such as flipping a coin or rolling a die. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Adjustable Spinner
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Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create their own spinners and examine the outcomes given a specified number of spins. Students learn that experimental probabilities differ according to the characteristics of the model. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Birthday Paradox
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Description: This Illuminations lesson demonstrates the birthday paradox, using it as a springboard into a unit on probability. Students use the TI83 graphing calculator to run a Monte Carlo simulation with the birthday paradox and engage in a graphical analysis of the birthdayproblem function. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Fire
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Description: In this student interactive, from Illuminations, students can see the results of a fire if a forest is densely planted in a rectangular grid. Students are able to choose a starting place for the fire and enter the probability that a given tree will burn. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
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: The Game of SKUNK
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students practice decisionmaking 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, Physical Education Title: Sports Rankings
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Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear how mathematicians at the Rochester Institute of Technology are suggesting changes to the ranking systems in sports. Project leader Darren Narayan says the goal is to factor in headtohead competition. Science Updates are audio interviews with scientists and are accompanied by a set of questions as well as links to related Science NetLinks lessons and other related resources. Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics  Statistics  Social Studies  Geography Title: Interpreting Population Statistics
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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  Statistics  Social Studies  Geography Title: Population Pasta
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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: CrossDisciplinary  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?
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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: Canada Data Map
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Description: Investigate data for the Canadian provinces and territories with this interactive tool. Students can examine data sets contained within the interactive, or they can enter their own data. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
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: Exploring Histograms
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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 Title: Histogram Tool
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Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized histogram as well as display preset 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: History of Populations
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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: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Mathematics as Communication
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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: Health  Disease  Mathematics  Applied Mathematics  Science  Biology  Social Studies  Geography Title: Africa's Struggle With AIDS
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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 subSaharan 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: Measurement Terms
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Description: This lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, introduces relationships between measurement and geometry. The activities build on students prior knowledge as they work with partners and as a whole class to list, group, label, and write to present their understanding. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics Title: The Celebrated Jumping Frog
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students participate in games and activities that develop concepts of measurement and statistics. Using the story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calveras County by Mark Twain, students simulate a jumpingfrog contest and determine the distances jumped. Students then record the distance of individual jumps in centimeters and determine the total distance and the official distance. Students compare the range and median of the total distances with those of the official distances of the group. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
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: Language Arts,Mathematics Title: Can It Be?
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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 The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, and then explore and interpret the concept of averages. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Using NBA Statistics for Box and Whisker Plots
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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: Counting Embedded Figures
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students look for patterns within a given set of data. After looking at the pattern, students form generalizations for the problem and sharpen their algebraic skills. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8

