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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics (7), or Science (7)
Title: SpongeBob RoundPants? What's the Chance?
Description: What are the chances of SpongeBob having kids with round pants? Working in cooperative learning groups, students explore the concept of probability. Using interactive websites, students explore the possibilities of an organism having a particular trait by completing a virtual lab using Punnett squares. Students will apply their knowledge to predict possible outcomes of the offspring of the residents of Bikini Bottom.


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, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Wheel of Fortune and Probability
Description: This activity will lead students to discover a real life application of probability.  This activity utilizes various skills, such as data organization, data analysis, and probability computations.  Students will work in cooperative groups to complete the lesson.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (4 - 7), or Science (5), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Questioning NASA
Description: In this lesson students will work collaboratively to explore the "Big Question" that led up to this lesson was "Why are there two solid rocket boosters used to launch the space shuttle instead of one with the same amount of fuel?" This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (7 - 8), or Science (8)
Title: Transverse Waves
Description: Students will classify waves as mechanical or electromagnetic. Students will describe longitudinal and transverse waves. Students will show a transverse wave using a slinky.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 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Dice Roll Project
Description: This project is a fun way for students to observe the integration of a probability lesson with spreadsheet software. Students will record 36 rolls of a pair of dice. After they record their data, students will manually calculate the mean, median, mode and range. Students will then observe how quickly a computer can do those same calculations and many more things with that same data. Students will also compare experimental outcomes to the theoretical outcome.


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: 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: 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: Mathematics
Title: Combinations      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on combinations, a subject related to the probability-and-statistics strand of mathematics. Students are encouraged to discover all the combinations for a given situation using problem-solving skills (including elimination and collection of organized data) and drawing conclusions. The use of higher-level thinking skills (synthesis, analysis, and evaluations) is the overall goal.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Science
Title: Travel in the Solar System: Lesson 2      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students consider the amount of time that space travelers need to travel to the four terrestrial planets. Students also think about what kinds of events might occur on Earth while the space travelers are on their journey.
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      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: Sticks and Stones Demo      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from an Illuminations lesson, allows students to generate random throws for the game '' Sticks and Stones.'' In the game, three sticks are tossed and a player moves his or her marker according to how the sticks land.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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: Marble Mania Student Page      Add Bookmark
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,Science
Title: The Beat of Your Heart      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of five lessons, from Illuminations, gives students the opportunity to explore applications involving their own heart. The lessons, which span grades Pre-K-8, focus on measuring and data collection.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



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: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Can It Be?      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 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: Boxing Up      Add Bookmark
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: 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
Title: Stick or Switch?      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, presents a version of a classic game-show scenario. You pick one of three doors in hopes of winning the prize. The host opens one of the two remaining doors, which reveals no prize, and then asks if you wish to stick or switch. Which choice gives you the best chance to win? Students explore different approaches to this problem including guesses, experiments, computer simulations, and theoretical models.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Finding the Balance      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson for grades 7 and 8, one of a multi-part 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: 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
Title: Random Drawing Tool      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to explore the relationship between theoretical and experimental probabilities. Students use this '' box model'' as a statistical device to simulate standard probability experiments such as flipping a coin or rolling a die.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Explorations with Chance      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students analyze the fairness of certain games by examining the probabilities of the outcomes. The explorations provide opportunities for the learning phases of predicting results, playing the games, and calculating probability ratios.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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: Birthdays and the Binary System: Exploring Binary Numbers in a Real-World Application      Add Bookmark
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: Spinning Tops      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part 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: Fire      Add Bookmark
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: 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: Adjustable Spinner      Add Bookmark
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: 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: Marble Mania Facilitator Page      Add Bookmark
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: Birthday Paradox      Add Bookmark
Description: This Illuminations lesson demonstrates the birthday paradox, using it as a springboard into a unit on probability. Students use the TI-83 graphing calculator to run a Monte Carlo simulation with the birthday paradox and engage in a graphical analysis of the birthday-problem function.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Tower of Hanoi      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, presents a tower of from three to 20 disks, initially stacked in increasing size on one of three pegs. The goal is to move all the discs from the left peg to the right one using the smallest number of moves possible.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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