Category: Math and Social Studies

Powerball, Mega Millions, and probability

Recently the Mega millions’ jackpot was won in Maine at 1.35 billion dollars.  Last year, someone won 2.04 billion dollars in Powerball.   Students examine compound probability and decide whether playing Powerball or Mega millions is worth it.

Lunar New Year 2023

A combination of 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, the year’s symbol creates a sequence of year names that eventually repeat. Students explore the least common multiple of these two cycles without ever hearing the term LCM.

Median age of country populations

The median age of countries is used to predict the future needs of each country. What are the ramifications of a predominately young population or a predominantly older population,  Why do scientists use the median measurement to study this?

MLK and efforts towards racial justice

Timelines for the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.  – Students create one of two timelines about Martin Luther King Jr’s life or the efforts in America to create a more fair racial balance in the U.S.  …

How big could this mid-term election be?

Will the November 8th election bring record number of voters to the polls? Students get a chance to understand what the usual percentage of voters is, look for trends and central tendencies, and make predictions about this year’s voter turnout.

Halloween activities

14 Activities How well can you predict your candy haul? – Students consider how to determine their best predictions of their candy haul.  The math ideas of measurement error and percent error are introduced.  Students then predict their own Halloween…

Inflation and the cost of gasoline

In 1980, a gallon of gas costs $1.22.  Today’s prices are a lot higher.  Is that because the price has gone up or because in 1980 you could buy a lot more with $1.22 than you can buy today?

Participation in Halloween activities

Students analyze the ratios and percents of population, participation, and money spent in honor of October 31st.  This activity takes kids through finding parts of wholes as well as ratio, percents and proportion problems.  

Indigenous Peoples or Columbus Day

Sts learn a little history, question what they have learned earlier, and calculate how far off Columbus was from East India and his understanding of the actual circumference of the Earth.

Little Amal

With refugees trying to survive hardships by traveling away from their homes, the story of Little Amal is powerful and touching. There is lots of math in creating an 11 foot tall puppet that can be controlled by 3 people and show fear, surprise, wonder, and generally the humanity of refugees.  Bring the story of Amal to your classroom with this timely art.

Labor Day 2022

What is this holiday about?  Are we celebrating the start of school?  New cars? The end of summer? In this short activity, students learn about the intended meaning of Labor Day as they read about its origin. For the mathematical…

Will sending you back to school this year cost a fortune?

In this activity students decide what equipment and supplies are necessary, estimate how much that will all cost, confer with classmates to refine their lists, and then research to find out more accurately how much it will probably cost to send them back to school. This activity could be used for students in upper elementary school all the way to high school. It offers an opportunity for kids to estimate, research, reason, calculate and communicate with each other.

Should I buy a gasoline, hybrid, or electric car

Should you buy a hybrid or an electric car to save money and the planet? Students create equations for finding the break-even points of these vehicles by mileage and years of ownership.  They then work with systems of equations to…