Math Tourist: Ferry the Passengers

Essential Questions for students (objectives):  How can we use all four operations to solve real-world problems?

Supplies:  video (length - 1 min), note-maker

CCSS:  4.OA.3, Math Modeling, TEKS: 4.4H, 4.5A, Applying Math to Everyday Life

Vocabulary:  Port of call, disembark, tender, ferry
Time needed:  20 minutes +
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group or individual work

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  I filmed it with the express purpose of modeling a problem that uses all four operations with a consideration of the meaning of a remainder in a real-world context.  I want students to model and solve real world problems that have many decision points throughout.  Students may question if a “trip” is to the boat and back or just one way; however, students need to consider that a tender has to return to the boat to pick up more passengers for debarkation.  (Note: there are some vocabulary terms explained in the video that may need more direct teaching).

1) You can show this video (1:00) at the beginning of a unit on problem solving with all four operations as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about the unit.  You can have them work on the problem at the end of daily lessons (or once a week) armed with new knowledge that they are exploring in class.  Students use the note-maker to help record their problem-solving work.  Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about using all four operations and whether they can apply that knowledge.

2) You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some problem solving with a four operations.  It is a great way to show context to these types of problems.

Extensions:  If each trip of the boat takes 35 minutes, how long would it take to disembark all the passengers and then bring them back to the boat?

Book Cover

Help Wanted on
Mont Vernon
This book combines history
and mathematics with
adorable characters to teach
kids about the many talents
of the first U.S. President.

Book Cover

The UnderAchievers:
Woven into a fun story, this
book provides excellent
math lessons for kids.  

Writing Across the Curriculum:
The NumberFix Project


Book Cover

 Wacky We-Search Reports:
A popular book on writing
across the curriculum.