Maps Math (Part 1)

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SWBAT use mathematics skills to solve real life problems involving mapping.

Big Idea

Students use math skills including, problem solving, fractions, decimals, percents, time, measurement, and more to complete a community service project.

Free Explore

15 minutes

Before beginning this lesson, I provide students time to explore some special maps in small groups. (They are described later in this lesson.)

At first, I pass out the maps and offer no focusing suggestions.  It is important to allow the students to approach the maps from their own prospectives before I ask them to focus on particular objectives. 

When students have had time to find their points of interest, I focus their exploring on map skills they have learned.  

Did you locate all of the map parts: key, compass, scale, grid? 

What other parts of the map did you find useful?

At the end of the free explore, I call students together to share their observations and discoveries. 

Providing a Context

10 minutes

"Math is everywhere" has been a consistent theme in my classroom from the start of the year. Students have generated and mathematical questions from the real word, recording them in their math journals throughout the year. 

This project ties together the theme "math is everywhere" with our school's core value of Service. To provide the students with context for this assignment, I share my personal service commitment story and ask for their help/support in this mission.

My sister and I will each ride our bikes in a 100 mile ride next weekend.  The event is organized to raise money and awareness about the Best Buddies Foundation.

I share a bit about the foundation and the reason why we choose this challenge.  

Before introducing the students to the service challenge I have designed for them, I open the discussion to allow students to share their own service projects they have taken on and emphasize that as community members, it is important to help and support other members of the community in any way we can.

Introduce the Project

10 minutes

For this project, students will complete 4 tasks

1. Mapping the route of the bike ride.

2. Using map scale to locate every 10 miles.

3. Calculating estimated time of arrival using miles per hour.

4. Creating a motivational poster to support members of the community as they complete a charity bike ride.

I explain each of the tasks to the students to provide an over view of the assignment.  Then, focus their attention to tasks 1 and 2.  Today, students will work in teams to complete the first two parts of their service project.

Team Work (Parts 1 and 2)

30 minutes

Students work in teams to trace the route of the bike ride.  To make this piece of the project more accessible for the students, I modified the official route directions to specifically match the map the students will be using.  Even with these modifications, students face many challenges as they find each of the routes, follow cardinal directions and map the route.  They focus on precision as they follow a complex set of directions.  Students check their work multiple times to ensure they are accurate. 

In order to determine each of the multiple of 10 miles, students choose how to use the key to measure these distances.  

Scale Mini Lesson:

When the majority of the teams have completed mapping the route, I call the students together for a mini lesson about map scale.  I ask students to take a few minutes to really study the map scale.  

Then, facilitate a discussion about the specific scales on these maps.

Students must use both sides of the map (the over all map and an inset map) to complete this project.  This adds rigor to using the map scale because the scales are different.  Through this mini lesson, students learn to use the part of the scale that is most useful for the task.  In the case of these maps, the scale (1 in. = 7 miles) is not as appropriate for the assignment as using the bar scale to mark every 5 miles (because of the many winding roads).

It is important to provide students with both challenges and supports. Students learn from making mistakes, but too many mistakes can feel frustrating and overwhelming.  Monitor the groups for progress and accuracy throughout the first two parts of this service project.