Lesson: Travel the World Project

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Lesson Objective

Students apply skills of integer operations and number line knowledge to the planning of an international trip.

Lesson Plan

 This is a project that employs arithmetic to plan travel abroad. It is primarily intended to expose students to the concept of international travel, but also to show them the necessity of formulaic application of arithmetic in real-life situations. I added the algebraic formulas in the second year, and I believe they simplify calculations that are otherwise hard for students to visualize. Students need, however, to be familiar with substitution for variables. That said, I made them as simple and obvious as possible for students like mine who struggle with multiple pieces of information simultaneously. 

This can be built and expanded upon with more exercises to last two full weeks. It can also be done by reviewing expectations on Friday and then committing one full week to student work. 

For the most part, students are self-directed in this project. However, in order to explain the concept of time zones, I take a bright, small lamp and a large globe. Making the room as dark as possible, I review with students the idea that the universe is dark and the sun does not move, but the Earth rotates. I then slowly show them how one side of the earth is lit and the other dark. We then watch as the Earth rotates how it is morning on one part of the light side, and evening on the other. I then show them the full map of time zones and relate it to the globe demonstration. 

The closure to this week-long activity is a gallery walk of students' posters and I show a film I made of my own travels. I also bring realia such as currency and books in other languages. 

Lesson Resources

Travel the World Project   Project / Lab


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