Math Tourist: A Walk-Through Aquarium

Essential Questions for students (objectives):  How can you use fraction operations to solve problems?
Supplies: video (length 0:45), note-maker
CCSS:  5.NF.4, 5.NF.6 Reason quantitatively TEKS: 5.3 I Apply Mathematics

Time needed: 10 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 fraction problem that relates to multiplying a whole number by a fraction and interpreting the results. 

1)  You can show this video (0:45) at the beginning of a unit on multiplying fractions with a whole number as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about fraction 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 fractions by a whole number 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 fraction applications and calculations.  It is a great way to show context to fractions that isn’t the same old cooking examples.

Extensions:  I made a random guess at how many fish would be inside a large aquarium.  How many fish can you a large aquarium hold safely?  Is there a formula to determine fish capacity?


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