Translate Verbal Statements to Inequalities

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SWBAT translate verbal statements into inequalities using keywords

Big Idea

Anytime we say at least, a maximum of, fewer than, etc... we are making inequality statements. Let's translate these into mathematical inequalities.


10 minutes

I'll start the lesson by posing a situation to students.  You want to go to the mall to shop for a new outfit so you ask a parent for money.  They give you $10.  Is this enough?   Students will inevitably say NO!  I'll ask them to tell me how much money they think they'd need.  I'll quickly call on students to suggest dollar amounts.  If a student say $75, I'll ask would they take $70?  How about $80?  Hopefully a students will say the words "at least".  I'll bring the word out if a student doesn't.  

Next I'll ask a question using a less than scenario.  I may show a carton of a dozen eggs.  I'll ask how many eggs can this carton hold?  Can it hold more?  Can it hold less?

Next I'll introduce the inequality keywords in the resource.  I'll explain each symbol and its name.  We will also look at the terms in the keyword blank.  For each term, I'll ask a student for an example sentence using the keyword.  I think this is important because students will not always know how to use these terms or what they mean.  I used to assume they knew the terms; that was a mistake.  

We will wait to fill in the inequalities graphic organizer until after going through the problems.  Students will first make sense of the problems (MP1) before we commit to completing the organizer. 

Problem Solving

15 minutes

I have included 14 written statements that contain one of the inequality keywords.  Students will work with partners reading through each problem.  They will write a mathematical inequality to match each statement. 

For example:

Problem 1 says "You have more than 3 dollars".  The variable d represents your money.  Students should underline the keyword.  Then write the inequality d > 3.  I have included some values that students should circle that *could* represent d.  Students should be aware that these are just some of the possible values.  I included them here as an easy way for me to do a check for understanding while students are working.  If I see a student has circled 3 or any value less than 3, I know there is a lack of understanding. Then I could intervene by asking a question:  "If I have more than 3 dollars could I have $2.99?  $3.01?" etc.

Once the majority of groups have complete the 14 statements we will go over each one.  As we go over each problem, we will place the keyword in the graphic organizer from the first page of the resource.


10 minutes

The extension problems are included in case we finish the previous sections with time to spare.  These problems will need to be addressed at a later time if not during this lesson as this is ultimately where 7th grade students are expected to be.  

There are 6 word problems here that are to be translated into inequalities.  The first 4 are one-step inequalities.  The last 2 are two-step inequalities.  

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

The exit ticket has 5 parts.  

Problem 1 asks students to write an inequality for a statement.  Problem 2 is a multiple choice problem that asks students to identify a value that will not make the statement in problem 1 true.  Problem 3 and 4 are similarly structured.   Problem 5 is a one-step inequality problem.

Students should be able to answer at least 4 questions correctly to show success.