Math Tourist: Here is the church, here is the steeple...

Essential Question for students (objectives):  How can you use operations and mathematical properties to solve problems?
Supplies: video (length 1:26), note-maker
CCSS: 4.OA.3, 4.NBT.5 Reason Abstractly TEKS: 4.4A Justify ideas
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group or individual work

Time needed: 20 minutes +

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  I filmed it with the express purpose of modeling a two-step problem that relates to multiplication.  The extension question is incredibly robust because it asks students to analyze whether it matters if you multiply both amounts by two in order to take into consideration the fact that there are an equal amount of pews across the center aisle of each church.  A discussion from this exploration can really save time when you want to have students discover when you multiply both sides of an equation by the same number (or numerator and denominator), the problem doesn’t change. 

1)  You can show this video (1:26) at the beginning of a unit on multiplying whole numbers as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about whole number calculations.  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 multiplying whole numbers and whether they can apply that knowledge.

2)  You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some basic multiplication applications and calculations.  It is a great way to show context to whole numbers that isn’t the same old area examples.

Extensions:  Each church has an equal number of pews divided by a center aisle.  If both churches had 2 center aisles (breaking the pews into 3 equal sections) with the same number of pews they have now in each section, which church would hold the most people?  If St. Joseph’s church had 3 aisles and St. John’s had 2 aisles, then which church would hold the most?

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