Understanding Rates and Unit Rates Stations Activity

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SWBAT understand and use rates and unit rates.

Big Idea

The students will get the opportunity to work in stations to reinforce and deepen their understanding of rates and unit rates.


10 minutes

I will be using a warm up worksheet called Math Maze (Math Investigations, Fisher).  This problem has the students looking for patterns to move through the numbers, start to finish.  They must find the rule and continue the rule through all the numbers they pass. (SMP 7)There are 3 possible rules the student can find: multiplies of 7, multiples of 3,  and two digit odd numbers.(MP 2 and 4)


60 minutes

The Stations during this lesson will be an independent work station, a teacher work station, and a computer station.

Teacher:  The student will be working on a formative assessment.  I will give them all the same question and they will answer it independently on white boards.  I will randomly choose students to explain their reasoning.  I will purposefully choose students that used different strategies so that students can see there is more than one way to solve a problem. During this assessment, students will be using the following practices in the following ways.

SMP 1:  Students will need to make sense of the problem

SMP2: Students will need to know what the numbers represent

SMP3: Students will need to support their answers with mathematical reasoning

SMP 4: Students will be modeling their math by writing ratios. 

In the formative assessment questions, #6 asks the students to find both unit rates.  Remind students that this mean they will be finding the per hour and per mile rate.  Students will be assessed on both unit rates, according to the CCSS, so it is important that they continue to have exposure to it. 

Resource:  Formative Assessment Questions

Computer:  The students will be working on a web site that focuses the learning on unit rates.  Students can work independently or in pairs based on the amount of computers you have available. (SMP 1)

Independent:  the students will be working on a problem called Snail pace from illustrative math.  This problem takes them through several problems using the same information.  I’ve included the question and answer key.  I like to put the answer key nearby so the students can check their work and make corrections if needed. (SMP 1 and 4)


10 minutes

For the wrap up, I want students to use a Venn Diagram to make a comparing/contrasting rates and unit rates.  I chose this for the wrap up because students will be asked to find a rate or a unit rate and they need to know the difference.  Also, sutdents may be asked to use a unit rate to find a rate.  Again, they will need to know what each means and does.


If students don't know how to use a Venn Diagram, explain to them that the overlap is the way rates and unit rates are the same.  The other part of the circle is how they are different. 


Allow students time to complete and then let them share with their tablemates.