Elephant Tracks!

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Objective

Students will be able to solve multi-step equations requiring logarithms to find the age of their elephant! Additional scaffolding and support are provided after the discovery.

Big Idea

This lesson teaches the students to use the natural logarithm function to find the age of an elephant!

Class Discussion

5 minutes

After allowing all of the groups to figure out the age of their elephant, I focus on asking secondary questions about when/why it might be beneficial to manipulate an equation to solve it for a new variable.  I ask the students if they can think of other instances when this might be helpful.  I do all of this while continuing to rotate around the room.  Usually, Algebra II students have been exposed to enough mathematics to be able to share at least an example or two.  This conversation is a great way to pull in several math practice standards!  Although I elected to hold a brief whole class discussion, you may find it beneficial to use breakout groups or another strategy in your classroom.  Whatever you do, make it your own!  The elephant tracks example is a fun way to roll out a new level of problem, get the students to understand common mistakes, talk about the domain/range of a function, and integrate the math practice standards of your choosing!  I always have the kids do their work right on the elephant track, and then post them around the room for a week or so.  Although it is a goofy activity, the students really love it!

Homework Help and Additional Support

15 minutes
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