Math Tourist: Converting in Bora Bora

Essential Questions for students (objectives):  How can ratios help us convert amounts?  How can simplifying equations help in creating estimations?
Supplies:   video (length 1:41), note-maker
CCSS:  6.RP.3d, 7.EE2, 7.RP.3
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group work
Vocabulary for a Word Wall: ratio, Fahrenheit, Celsius, simplify

Time needed: 20 minutes

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.  It isn’t easy when traveling to have access to conversion equations or calculators.  I really like the idea of looking at the Celsius and Fahrenheit equations, which students find incredibly complicated, and then analyze them to make them more simple.  For example, changing 9/5 to 10/5 which is really close to 2.  Our estimate will be close just a tad too high.

1) You can show this video (1:41) at the beginning of a unit on equations as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about manipulating equations.  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 equations 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 convert between different measurement systems using ratios.  It is a great way to show context to a ratio problem.

Extensions:  What other temperature conversions exist (maybe research Kelvin) and how might those conversions be made simpler?  Why do we have different measurement systems from country to country?  Who determines which system we use?



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