Math Tourist: A Soldier's Pay

Essential Question for students (objective):  How can decimal operations help us solve problems?
Supplies: video (length -0:43), note-maker
CCSS:  5.NBT.7  Attend to Precision, TEKS: 5.3 A, K Select Tools
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group work

Time needed: 15+ minutes

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  I filmed it with the express purpose of stressing the importance of estimation and to practice using decimal computation in a real-world situation.  This video integrates U.S. History and mathematics in a real way for students.  There are many ways to use this video in your class:

1) You can show this video (0:43) at the beginning of a unit on decimal addition as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about operations.  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.  Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about decimal operations and whether they can apply that knowledge.

2) You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned how to add decimals fluently.  It is a great way to show context to adding & subtracting decimals.

Extensions:  According to the information on soldier pay, soldiers received a raise to $13 a month.  How would that effect the amount of money sent home?  How does the amount of money earned by soldiers in the Civil War compare to the pay of soldiers in other wars (Spanish-American War, War of 1812, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan)?



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.