This series of open-ended activities allows students to use their creativity to imagine and plan an image and then get hands-on to measure and create a product. What I like is that every student can produce something different, while still addressing the Mathematics content descriptions and meeting the achievement standards for Level 7. There are also opportunities to integrate other learning areas (Design and Technology, Digital Technologies and the Capabilities). Teachers can also extend students to achieve higher level standards by incorporating different shapes (circles and cylinders, for example).
1. Draw a House Plan – Perimeter and Area of quadrilaterals
This task is to assess your understanding of area, perimeter, scale and ratio. You are required to draw the plan of a house showing the dimensions, labelling the measurements and calculating the area of each room. Your plan should include a kitchen, living area, one or more bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry, at minimum. You have a budget of $240,000 and the estimated cost per metre squared is $1000. Each cm on the plan, represents 1 metre, so the scale is 1:100. Label the plan with a ratio of 1cm (plan) = 1m (actual) and each room should be of a reasonable and realistic size
2. Create a Tangram picture – Perimeter and Area of triangles and parallelograms
Use the colored paper squares provided to fold, draw and cut out the seven tangram shapes. Create a picture using all seven pieces and paste them down onto another sheet of paper. Label each shape with its dimensions (length, width, height of triangles and parallelogram) and calculate the area of each shape. Does the area of the original square match the total area of the seven shapes added together? Why or why not?
3. Annotate a photograph of a rectangular prism with surface area and volume
Take a digital photograph of a rectangular prism – it could be a packing crate, microwave, refrigerator or similar three dimensional object. Using an annotation app (such as Skitch) show the length, width and height of the object and calculate the surface area and volume. Send the annotated image to me by email.
4. Create a net and fold a 1:50 model building, labeling total surface area and volume
Some students may need to scaffolding with this activity, starting with an existing template and then making adjustments.
Use a photograph of a simple building to estimate measurements and transfer these to an isometric drawing, using a 1:50 scale. Make a template of a net in paper and transfer this to cardboard. Cut and fold the cardboard into the 3D model building.
5. Build your name in Minecraft and calculate the surface area and volume of the blocks.
Create your name using Minecraft blocks, take a screenshot and then annotate the image, showing the total surface area and volume.