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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7)
Title: How Big Should it Be?
Description: This lesson will allow students to become familiar with the concept of equivalent ratios and similar objects. Through an open investigation students will develop methods to find equivalent ratios. This is a lesson to be used as part of a unit with Painter Problems and How Far Can You Leap found in ALEX. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: Mathematics (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Shaping the Future
Description: Students will utilize new found knowledge of architectural design and engineering to apply math and science skills in building a structure. By using interactive websites, they will create scale drawing plans and design and engineer a card structure that should withstand the weight of a regular textbook.  


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Search the Perimeter and Secure the Area
Description: This lesson will not only help students compare and contrast the concepts of area and perimeter, but it will also move toward the concept that area is maximized while minimizing perimeter with a square.


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Using Scale Factors: Drawing Your Body to Scale
Description: Teachers will use this lesson to review and apply skills involving scale factors.  Teachers will use illuminations website to review scale factor.  Then students will be given instructions to draw their bodies to scale.


Subject: Mathematics (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: 2020 - Year of the Cool School!
Description: Hey! Are you tired of your old lame school? Are the halls too narrow? Do you like walking outside to get to the cafeteria? Are the classrooms too small? Is the design too simple - just too wacky for a middle school? Well, now is the biggest break of your lives - You and your peers will design the school of the future and make history! Your biggest challenge is to create a section of a dream school that oozes and awes your peers. Each team will design a section (cafeteria, library, performing arts room, or recreational room) of the school, research different floor coverings for the section, research different loans to cover the cost of the floor coverings, and design a model of each section. Grab your math knowledge and as many construction tools as you can because you are about to construct a building for the world to remember. But wait, THE CATCH - your team will be competing against other groups. So put your thinking caps on and let the building begin!


Subject: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (9 - 12), or Mathematics (7 - 12)
Title: Wildlife Math-Enhancing mathematics in the career/technical classroom and providing relevance in the mathematics classroom
Description: This integrated lesson is the result of collaboration between Chip Blanton, a wildlife management teacher, and Greg Pendergrass, a math teacher (Ft. Payne High School). Learning to manage wildlife requires an understanding of planting food plots, creating areas for cover, and providing water. Students learn to use the math skills required to calculate the number acres and the cost of fertilizer and seed needed in food plots and sanctuaries. Given a certain amount of land students decide what part of that land they are to plant and maintain for deer, quail, turkey, rabbit and forestation.


Subject: Arts Education (7 - 12), or Mathematics (7)
Title: Cartoons and Scale Drawings
Description: This lesson will lead students to understand the concept of scale drawings.  The students will artistically and mathematically enlarge a cartoon.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Circles All Around Us
Description: In this lesson, students will estimate several dimensions of circles in everyday objects.  Students will use the metric and customary systems for their estimations.  This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Scaling Down the Solar System
Description: In this lesson students will work collaboratively to gain a better understanding of the vastness of space by scaling down the solar system. This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.  


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Shadows and Indirect Measurement
Description: This lesson will allow students to measure shadows to compute heights indirectly.  They will set up and solve a proportion to find the height of a light pole on campus.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7)
Title: "Movin' On Up"
Description: Students will use their knowledge of scale factor to enlarge a picture to scale. They will then use PhotoStory to create a collage of their pictures. This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.  


Subject: Arts Education (7 - 12), or Mathematics (7)
Title: Enlarge my "Ride" (Scale & Proportion)
Description: Students will take the measurements of model cars. The students will use these measurements and scale factors to set up proportions and find the actual size of the the vehicle. As a final activity, students will use sidewalk chalk to sketch the vehicle in the parking lot. Alternate indoor activity provided under Modifications Section.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 (7)
Title: Similar Figure Activity
Description: The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to self-discover the relationships between similar figures. The students should then take what they learn about these relationships and apply these concepts to problem-solving.


Subject: Mathematics (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Water Tank Creations Part I
Description: In this lesson students will study the surface area and volume of three-dimensional shapes by creating a water tank comprised of these shapes. Students will work in groups of 4-5 to research water tanks, develop scale drawings and build a scale model. Teacher will evaluate the project using a rubric and students will assess one anothers cooperative skills using a rubric.


Subject: Mathematics (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Creating a Water Tank - Part II "Selling the Tank"
Description: Working in groups of 4-5 students will take the information,pictures and 3-D model of the water tank they assembled in Part I of Creating a Water Tank and develop a web page and a video presentation. The web page will be a tool to advertise their water tank construction company and must include hyperlinks and digital pictures. The video presentation will be a "sales pitch" to a city council. The web page and video will be scored using a rubric. The web page and video must include the surface area, volume and cost of construction.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Golden Ratios of the Body, Architecture, and Nature
Description: Students will study the golden ratio as it relates to human body measurements, architecture, and nature. Students will use a desktop publishing program to create a poster. The poster will have digital photos of themselves, architecture samples, or nature examples. Students will also include a spreadsheet with the lengths, widths, and length/width ratios of the samples included in the photos.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Social Studies (12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Trading and Tracking Stock Portfolios Online
Description: Student teams will trade stocks and track the progress of their Alabama Stock Market Simulation portfolio by using spreadsheet software and the Internet. They will relate the information to a previous social studies unit on economics and will be utilizing math concepts they have learned. The Internet will be used to research stock trends.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics
Title: Cubes Everywhere      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students use cubes to develop spatial thinking and review basic geometric principles through real-life applications. Students are given the opportunity to build and take apart structures based on cubes.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: A Swath of Red      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part 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
Title: Scale Factor      Add Bookmark
Description: This reproducible transparency, from an Illuminations lesson, features information about scale factors.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Triangula Island Overhead      Add Bookmark
Description: This reproducible transparency, from an Illuminations lesson, contains an activity that asks students to conjecture the best location of a point inside a regular polygon such that the sum of the distances to each side is a minimum.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Making Your First Million      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students attempt to identify the concept of a million by working with smaller numerical units, such as blocks of 10 or 100, and then expanding the idea by multiplication or repeated addition until a million is reached. Additionally, they use critical thinking to analyze situations and to identify mathematical patterns that enable them to develop the concept of very large numbers.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Area Contractor      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students are given the opportunity to explore surface area in the same way that a contractor might when providing an estimate to a potential customer. Once the customer accepts the estimate, a more detailed measurement is taken and a quote prepared.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Learning about Length, Perimeter, Area, and Volume of Similar Objects by Using Interactive Figures: Side Length, Volume, and Surface Area of Similar Solids      Add Bookmark
Description: This is part two of a two-part e-example from Illuminations that illustrates how students can learn about the length, perimeter, area, and volume of similar objects using dynamic figures. In this part, Side Length, Volume, and Surface Area of Similar Solids, the user can manipulate the scale factor that links two three-dimensional rectangular prisms and learn about the relationships among edge lengths, surface areas, and volumes. e-Math Investigations are selected e-examples 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 e-examples are natural companions to the i-Math Investigations.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Arts,Mathematics,Social Studies, Language arts
Title: History on Stage Pop-Up Lesson       Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson plan, developed in support of the exhibition Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop, and Turn , introduces students to the variety of mechanisms included in movable books and encourages them to build their own pop-up in support of a social studies lesson. Making pop-ups subtly reinforces student's understanding of mechanical movement and helps budding architects, designers, and engineers begin to envision objects three-dimensionally.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Shops at the Mall      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students develop number sense in and around the shopping mall. They explore the allotment of space within a mall by generating a class list of stores typically found in a shopping center or mall. They then categorize stores into general categories, such as women's clothing, food service, and so on, and conduct research about malls in their own area. Finally, students plan a mall and create a scale drawing.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Scaling Away      Add Bookmark
Description: This reproducible worksheet, from an Illuminations lesson, contains questions regarding the effect of multiplying by a scale factor on the surface area and volume of a rectangular prism or cylinder.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Making Beds      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part 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: Purple Prisms      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students investigate rectangular prisms using an online, interactive applet. They manipulate the scale factor that links two three-dimensional rectangular prisms to learn about edge lengths and surface area relationships.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Turtle Pond      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student interactive, from Illuminations, students guide a turtle to a pond using computer commands. They improve their skills in estimating length and angle measurement as they enter a sequence of commands (distances and angles at which to turn) to help the turtle move toward the pond. The goal is to find the shortest path to the pond.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Mathematics and Children's Literature      Add Bookmark
Description: In this five-lesson unit, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children s literature. Five pieces of literature are applied to teaching a wide range of topics in the mathematics curriculum, from sorting and classifying to the meaning of averages.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Canada Data Map      Add Bookmark
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: Bermuda Triangle      Add Bookmark
Description: This printable overhead projector sheet, from an Illuminations lesson, features a map with a drawing of the Bermuda Triangle. Students are asked to determine the area of the Bermuda Triangle based on this drawing and using the scale provided.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Fractal Tool      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, illustrates iteration graphically. Students can view preset iterations of various shapes and/or choose to create their own iterations.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Scaling Away      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students measure the dimensions of a common object, multiply each dimension by a scale factor, and examine a model using the multiplied dimensions. Students then compare the surface area and volume of the original object with those of the enlarged model.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Centimeter Grid Paper      Add Bookmark
Description: This reproducible grid, from an Illuminations lesson, which features 1 cm by 1 cm squares, can be photocopied onto transparency paper and used by students to estimate the area of various shapes.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Soda Rack      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a three-part unit from Illuminations, students consider the arrangement of cans placed in a bin with two vertical sides and discover an interesting result. They then prove their conjectures about the interesting results. In addition, there are links to online activity sheets and other related resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Building Height      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students use a clinometer (a measuring device built from a protractor) and isosceles right triangles to find the height of a building. The class compares measurements, talks about the variation in their results, and selects the best measure of central tendency to report the most accurate height.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Shopping Mall Math      Add Bookmark
Description: In this two-lesson unit, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they develop number sense in and around the shopping mall. Two grade-level activities deal with size and space, estimation, measurement and applications involving percent.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Planning a Playground      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students design a playground using manipulatives and multiple representations. Maximum area with a given perimeter will be explored using tickets. This is an interesting demonstration of how a real-world context can change a purely mathematical result.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Social Studies
Title: Hospital Map Activity Sheet       Add Bookmark
Description: This student reproducible, from an Illuminations lesson, contains a map of the area wherein students must choose a location to build a new hospital so it is equidistant from Boise, Idaho; Helena, Montana; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Students do their work on a blank transparency and overlay their work onto this map.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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