Sky High

Gladys Allen Louis Wirth Experimental School
4959 South Blackstone Ave
Chicago IL 60615
(312)535-1410

Objectives: This lesson is appropriate for students in middle and junior high. The students will be able to work cooperatively in small groups. The students will be able to convert centimeters to millimeters, meters to centimeters, meters to millimeters. The students will be able to graph the width and the height of their tower. The students will be able to tell the teacher if there is a mathematical relationship between the height and the width of the base. Materials Needed: Straw Paper Clips Meter Sticks Graph Paper Worksheet of instructions Strategy: Give each small group a minimum of 30 straws and a box of regular size paper clips. Using the materials they are to construct a structure in fifteen minutes. Measure the height of all the structures in millimeters, that are standing without assistance. Convert measurements to centimeters and meters. Measure the width of the base at its widest point in millimeters. Convert measurements to centimeters and meters. Enter data on graph provided by the teacher. After observing the data make a judgement if there is a relationship between the width of the base and the height obtained. Performance Assessment: HANDS ON PERFORMANCE-ASSESSMENT FOR STRUCTURES Points 5 points EXCELLENT - Works cooperatively in small group; Measures accurately; Completes conversion tables; Contributes to class graph; Answers questions and draws a logical conclusion. 4 points VERY GOOD - 4 out of 5 items previously stated. 3 points FAIR - 3 out of 5 items previously stated. 2 points POOR - 2 out of 5 items previously stated. Conclusion: This activity is best used with students who have been introduced to the metric conversions. It also incorporates many subject areas that lend themselves to math. This is a good introduction to advanced areas of study such as physics and architecture.
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