Math Tourist: On the Oregon Trail

Essential Questions for students (objectives):  How can you use operations to solve problems?

Supplies:   video (length 1:40), weight list page, note-maker
CCSS:  4.NBT.6, 4.OA.3, 5.NBT.6, MP #1,2 TEKS: 5.3 C, 5.4 B  Problem-solving & Applying Mathematics 
Time needed: 30-40 minutes 
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group work

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  First of all, I did film it for a 5th grade class (due to the connection to social studies and westward movement), but you can use it any time that you are working with applications of division.   The purpose of this lesson is for students to interpret remainders and use them in the context of time.   In addition, the part on choosing items by weight for the wagon train requires a lot of addition and subtraction work and requires a lot of perseverance with problem-solving.

1) You can show this video (1:40) at the beginning of a unit on division and multi-step problems as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about the process.  I would pause the video during the question phase for students to add to their note-maker or discuss possible ways to solve.  Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check.

2) You can use this video to introduce solving problems involving division. 

Extensions:  What items will you take in your wagon if you have a maximum load of 2,000 lbs?  How much will those items cost? [use weight list page]


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