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ALEX Lesson Plan Resources
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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:
Is it Really that BIG?
Description:
Just how tall is that object? In this lesson, students will participate in an outdoor group activity using shadows to extend their knowledge of proportions to solve problems dealing with similarity. The cooperative learning groups will measure the heights and shadows of familiar objects (like themselves!) and use indirect measurement to find the heights of things that are much bigger in size, such as a tree, a school building, or a flagpole.
Subject:
Mathematics (7)
Title:
To Scale or not to Scale? That is the Factor.
Description:
Students will learn to solve proportions and find missing sides of similar figures using the scale factor. This lesson is best taught before the concept of cross multiplication is developed. Not only will the student learn the process of using a scale factor to find a missing value from a proportion, but they will also practice these skills in a timed game online. They will realize that the scale factor is sometimes not an integer, and some proportions are more difficult to solve. This lesson is a great precursor to the means and extremes property of proportions also known as cross multiplication.
Subject:
Mathematics (7 - 12)
Title:
Falling Down a Rabbit Hole Can Lead to a King Sized Experience - Exploring Similar Figures Using Proportions
Description:
In this lesson, students will explore the concept of similarity. Students will first simplify ratios, solve proportions using the cross product property, and use properties of proportions to solve real-world problems. Similar polygons will then be introduced and their properties used to solve real-world problems.
Subject:
Mathematics (7)
Title:
Cool Kool-Aid Experiment
Description:
Seventh grade students have had wide-ranging experiences with fractions and operations on fractions, but ratios and rates may be new concepts for them. This activity introduces students to the idea of rates via a familiar and tangible product: Kool-Aid. Students will add varying amounts of Kool-Aid powder to a set amount of water, thereby producing a sensory experience of rates. The Kool-Aid example also provides a base experience upon which other examples can build.
Subject:
Mathematics (7), or Credit Recovery Science (7), or Science (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title:
Where Did You Get Those "Jeans"?
Description:
This lesson can be interdisciplinary involving science, mathematics, and language arts. The primary nature of the lesson is inquiry, project, and technology-based. In science this project is a culminating activity in the heredity unit.
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 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.
Subject:
Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title:
How Much Money Can I Make?
Description:
This lesson is a technology-based activity in which students will research two careers they are possibly interested in pursuing. They will convert the average yearly salary of each career into an hourly wage and record their findings in a spreadsheet. They will calculate their weekly gross and net pay for each career choice.
Subject:
Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title:
Fly Away With Averages
Description:
This is a hands-on 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:
A Swath of Red
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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:
Graph Chart
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Description:
This reproducible transparency, from an Illuminations lesson, contains the answers to the similarly named student activity in which students identify the independent and dependent variables, the function, symbolic function rule and rationale for a set of graphs.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
9,10,11,12
Subject:
Arts,Mathematics,Social Studies
Title:
Real Estate Tycoon
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Description:
This year-long project, from Illuminations, is divided into three parts and reinforces skills that lay a foundation for algebra, such as measurement, fractions, decimals, percents, and proportions. Students design, build, and sell a house and then simulate investment of the profits in the stock market. Along the way, students make scale drawings, compute with fractions and decimals in various contexts, solve simple equations, and learn valuable lessons about how money really works.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Making Your First Million
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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:
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 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,Science
Title:
Inclined Plane
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Description:
In this multiple-day 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
Title:
Explore More Tables
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Description:
In this lesson, one of a multi-part 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:
Look for Patterns
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Description:
In this lesson, one of a multi-part 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:
Pan Balance -- Numbers
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Description:
This student interactive, from Illuminations, can be used to find numerical expressions that are equivalent to one another. If equivalent expressions are placed in the blue and red pans on the virtual scale, it will balance.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
3,4,5,6,7,8
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:
Linking Length, Perimeter, Area, and Volume
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Description:
In this four-lesson unit, from Illuminations, students explore ratio, proportion, scale factor and similarity using perimeter, area, volume and surface area of various rectangular shapes. Students use an online interactive applet to explore how the perimeters, areas, and side lengths of similar rectangles are related.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Blue Squares and Beyond
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Description:
In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students manipulate two rectangles to create examples of similarity and to study the effects on area ratios. Students sketch similar figures, verify proportionality, and apply these concepts to structures in their world.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Health,Mathematics,Informal Education
Title:
Big Math and Fries
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Description:
This Illuminations lesson is designed to enlighten students about how to calculate percent of calories from fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The calculations are made to determine if a person can follow the Zone Diet with only McDonald's food items.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Go with Green Rectangles
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Description:
In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students manipulate 2-dimensional rectangles using an online interactive applet. They focus on the relationship between the scale factor and ratio of perimeters of similar rectangles, and on the relationship between scale factor and ratio of areas of similar rectangles.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Purple Prisms
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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:
Bagel Algebra
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Description:
In this Illuminations lesson, a real life example--taken from a bagel shop--is used to get students to think about solving a problem symbolically. Students must decipher a series of equations and interpret results to understand the point that the bagel shop s owner is trying to make about the price of his bagels compared to that of his competitor.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Bagel Comparison
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Description:
This reproducible transparency, from an Illuminations lesson, presents information from a sign displayed by a real bagel retailer, comparing the price of their bagels to that of their competitor.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
The Next Billion
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Description:
In this lesson, from Illuminations, students predict when the world's population will reach 7 billion. To do so, they use an on-line counter that simulates the changing world population. They time the counter to find how long it takes for the population to increase by 50 or 100 people. They use that measurement to predict how long it would take for the population to increase by 1 billion. Students discuss the reliability of their predictions, compare them to past trends, and discuss social factors that can affect population growth.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Constant Dimensions
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Description:
In this Illuminations lesson, students measure the length and width of a rectangle using both standard and non-standard units of measure. In addition to providing measurement practice, this lesson allows students to discover that the ratio of length to width of a rectangle is constant, in spite of the units. For many middle school students, this discovery is surprising.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8
Subject:
Mathematics
Title:
Bean Counting
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Description:
By using sampling from a large collection of beans, students get a sense of equivalent fractions, which leads to a better understanding of proportions. Equivalent fractions are used to develop an understanding of proportions. The number-sense of recognizing equivalent fractions is useful when students study slope and proportions.
Thinkfinity Partner:
Illuminations
Grade Span:
6,7,8,9,10,11,12