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Making Sense of Census 2000

Subject Area: Mathematics

Grade Level(s): 8

Duration of Activity: 3 - 4 days

Description of Activity:

This activity is designed to investigate real-world mathematics with a social studies emphasis. Students will go online to http://www.census.gov/ to analyze current statistics about the population in the United States and of their home state of Mississippi. The students will work individually with the aid of graphing calculators to create and solve real-world equations and inequalities from data found in the tables and/or maps included in this Web site. Cooperative groups will research statistics and make comparisons of the statistics from the 1990 Census to the 2000 Census and compose an informative newsletter to reveal their findings.

Objectives: The student will

  • research a selected site on the World Wide Web.
  • analyze and compare statistical information.
  • write and solve real-world equations and inequalities using technology.
  • learn how to create an informative newsletter.

Materials/Equipment:

Prerequisites (skills or background needed):

  • Basic computer skills that will allow the students to use publishing software
  • The ability to read map legends
  • The ability to use a URL to locate a Web site
  • The ability to follow instructions for creating a newsletter

Procedure

Teacher Component: The teacher will

  1. instruct the students to investigate the statistical information provided in Handouts1-4: Resident Population Tables and Maps and send the students to the Web site at http://www.census.gov/ to locate and print information that will be used in a group newsletter
  2. instruct the students to use data from Handout 1: Resident Population Tables and Maps to create real-world equation and inequality problems and provide the solutions using the graphing calculator. The student can review the online resources from Handout 1: Resident Population Tables and Maps and select some data that he or she finds interesting. Provide the student with Handout 7: Assessment for Writing and Solving Algebraic Equations and Expressions to help the student write the equation and inequality problems.
  3. provide Handout 5: Creating a Newsletter in Microsoft Publisher and instruct the students to work in cooperative groups to analyze the statistics and to compose a newsletter.
  4. distribute for student use Handout 6: Rubric to Assess Newsletter, which the students can use as a guideline in assessing each newsletter created by each group.

Student Activities: The student will

  1. work individually using the Handout 1: Resident Population Tables and Maps to write and solve equations and inequalities using graphing calculators. Use Handout 7: Assessment for Writing and Solving Algebraic Equations and Expressions for instructions on writing and solving the equations.
  2. use Handout 1: Resident Population Tables and Maps and go to the Web site http://www.census.gov to locate and print information that will be used in a group newsletter.
  3. after individually locating and printing information from the Web site, students will begin working in cooperative groups to analyze the information and to plan how the data will be used to create the group newsletter following the steps for composing the newsletter in cooperative groups using Handout 5: Steps to Create a Newsletter in Microsoft Publisher.
  4. assess the newsletter created by their individual groups using Handout 6: Rubric to Assess Newsletter.

Accommodations:

  • Working in cooperative groups will allow those who are not as knowledgeable as others in their group to receive assistance from their peers when working with software such as Microsoft Publisher.
  • Teacher will provide individual assistance when needed.
  • Teacher may provide hard copies of Handout 1: Resident Population Tables and Maps prior to the project if time is a factor.
  • Teacher can provide other examples of equations that are written from the data.

Extension Activities:

  • The student will generate a graph comparing data from the Census 1990 and the Census 2000.
  • The student will compose a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation showing the results of the analysis of the Census 2000 data.
  • The student will compose an assigned number of questions that will be answered from the data by another classmate.

Integration:

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Technology

Assessments:

  1. Handout 7: Assessment for Writing and Solving Algebraic Equations and Expressions
  2. Handout 6: Rubric to Assess Newsletter
  3. Teacher observation of group participation activities

URLs:

Curriculum Frameworks

Mississippi:

Eighth Grade

  1. Apply concepts and perform basic operations using real numbers.
    1. Solve real-life problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions, decimals, and mixed numbers.

  2. Use properties to create and simplify algebraic expressions and solve linear equations and inequalities.
    1. Write a corresponding real-life situation from an algebraic expression.

  3. Apply the concepts of ratio, proportion, and percent to solve real-life problems.
    1. Write and solve real-life problems using percents with and without calculators.

  4. Interpret, organize, and make predictions about a variety of data using concepts of probability and statistics.
    1. Interpret tables and charts.

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):

  1. Use content-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research. (3,5)
  2. Apply productivity/multimedia tools and peripherals to support personal productivity, group collaboration, and learning throughout the curriculum. (3,6)
  3. Design, develop, publish, and present products (e.g., Web pages, videotapes) using technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside and outside the classroom. (4,5,6)
  4. Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using telecommunications and collaborative tools to investigate curriculum-related problems, issues, and information, and to develop solutions or products for audiences inside and outside the classroom. (4,5)
  5. Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems. (5,6)

TerraNova:

15 Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability (Level 10-21/22)
Analyze, interpret, and evaluate data in various forms; and apply the concepts and processes of data analysis, statistics, and probability to real-world situations.

Represent and interpret data, model probability situations, describe trends, and evaluate or construct arguments based on data.

16 Patterns, Functions, Algebra (Level 10-21/22)
Recognize and extend patterns.
Demonstrate an understanding of functional relationships, algebraic processes, variables, and inequality.

Recognize algebraic representations of problem situations and apply algebraic methods to solve real-world problems.

Create and model patterns and functional relationships, and use algebraic representations to model problems.

Link and Feedback to Author(s):

Charlotte Moore, Booneville Middle School, Booneville, MS
cmoore@booneville.k12.ms.us

Handout 5:
Creating a Newsletter in Microsoft Publisher
Word Acrobat
Handout 6:
Rubric to Assess Newsletter
Word Acrobat
Handout 7:
Assessment for Writing and Solving Algebraic Equations and Expressions
Word Acrobat
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