Author Archives: AnnMaria De Mars

Better Dirt, Better Lives

๐Ÿ“–STANDARD

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NF.A.1
Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n ร— a)/(n ร— b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.

๐Ÿ“ฒTechnology Required

Students will need an iPad, Mac or Windows computer with the Fish Lake game installed. A video can be substitute for students who do not have access to one of these devices.

โฐTime

30 minutes

๐Ÿ“ƒSummary

Begin with playing the Fish Lake game. A video of the section on crop rotation may be used by schools that don’t have Fish Lake installed. Give a presentation (included) on crop rotation. Watch a video on “What is one-half” and end the lesson with a presentation (included) on whether one-half is fair.

๐Ÿ“šLesson

Play Fish Lake or watch video of game play

Even though you can use this lesson without playing the game, I urge you to install Fish Lake on your iPads, Mac or Windows computers. You can download it for free for computers. For iPads, email support@7generationgames.com for a discount code and we’ll get back to you the same day. Seriously, even if you normally use Chromebook, it will be a nice break and your students will love it. We recommend letting them play for 15 minutes.

Play the game Fish Lake, (available to Growing Math schools, on iPad, Windows or Mac computers). If students do not have devices to access the game, students can watch a video here.

Slide presentation on crop rotation

Use this Google slides presentation to explain crop rotation as more than just being sure each farmer did her fair share of the work or had a fair share of the fields. It was good science.

Watch a short video: What is half ?

This short (1:40) video explains that one-half is two equal parts, with examples of one-half as a distance between two points or as a shape divided into two parts.

Slide presentation on one-half as fair

Use this Google slides presentation to show two halves are equal and that 2/4 = 1/2. Multiple examples of dividing something in half are given, from six blankets to half a deer. Students can also read the presentation and manipulate the examples on their own.

Half a deer

Assessment

Fish Lake data reports are available for teachers to access after students have finished playing.  

Introduction to Lakota/Dakota Oral Histories & Storytelling

by Jen Mellette

๐Ÿ“– STANDARD

ND H.3-5.3, & ND H.3-5.9 Describe North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings. Describe how individuals and groups contributed to North Dakota.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

โฐ LESSON TIME

 45-60 minutes

๐Ÿ“ฒ TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

Computer with internet connection

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

Students read a Lakota story on the end of the world. The teacher gives a short presentation on oral history as used by the Lakota/Dakota. Students play a game with stories from Dakota or Lakota culture. Students present their own examples of oral history in writing or orally. Assessment is in oral or written presentation and via data reports on answers in Making Camp Lakota or Dakota.

๐Ÿ“š Lesson

Read the Story

Read or have a student read the Lakota story of the end of the world . The English translation can be found on the Akta Lakota Museum site here or you can copy it as a Google doc into your own classroom.

Presentation

This short (5 minute) Google slide presentation explains what oral history is and how it was used by the Lakota/Dakota.

Play a Game

Have students play either Making Camp Lakota or Making Camp Dakota. From the earn page, select the LIFE tab. Select any 3 activities on the page to watch and answer the questions. If students have not played the game before, this should take 10-15 minutes from logging in, introduction, and the three choices.

LIFE pages from Making Camp Dakota.

The lessons featured in the Life tab are perfect examples of traditional oral history passed down by both Lakota/Dakota tribes. 

Share Oral Histories

Once students have played the game, ask students to think of and share orally a story told to them or if they are not comfortable with public speaking, have them write down in a notebook entry to be turned in for grading. 

Assessment

The assessment value is based on what is written down in the notebook or what is shared orally with the rest of the class. Some students will not share or write anything down due to lack of knowledge, so those will be case by case and one on one with the student in question. Based on stories shared and notebook entries, adjustments to class series can be made to target how much time we can spend on a second lesson and third lesson with oral histories. 

Students completion of Life activities and their correct/ incorrect answers are recorded and data on student task completion and performance are available from the teacher reports.

RELATED Lessons You May Wish to Use

A Dakota boyhood is a lesson that also includes a story of Dakota life and teaches ELA at the fifth-grade level. This lesson also uses the Life section from the game Making Camp Lakota.

Breaking Down Division with Remainders – is a great addition for a cross-curricular unit. Making Camp Dakota follows a family at a pow-wow as the children learn about Dakota culture through stories from their elders and apply their long division skills along the way. This division lesson includes Making Camp Dakota game play, a video and Google slides presentation on division with remainders.

This lesson plan was originally developed as part of a series on returning culture and knowledge back to our youth as a part of the youth social skills night activities for the Native American Development Center in Bismarck, ND. It is part of a lesson plan series created by Jen Mellette, Youth and Community Coordinator. 

Weaving in Navajo history and culture

๐Ÿ“– STANDARD:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Dineโ€™ Content Standard for Grades 7-8 (Government) 4.PO.2 – I will identify changes in customs and goods.
Dineโ€™ Content Standard for Grades 7-8 (Culture) 1.PO.2 – I will show responsibility by knowing the stories related to my belongings.

โฐ Time

30 minutes

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology required

This lesson requires a Chromebook, PC or Mac computer with an Internet connection.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

Students watch a video by Albert Brent Chase, a longtime Navajo culture educator. Next, students read a passage on sheep resources and rug weaving in Navajo history. The video, How Itโ€™s Made: Navajo Rugs is also provided in this lesson. Students end the lesson playing Making Camp Navajo and designing their own rugs.

๐Ÿ“š Lesson

Set up the lesson by watching a video

Arizona lands rug, by Albert Chase

In this five-minute video, Navajo weaver Albert Chase gives an overview of creating a pictorial rug with Germantown yarn.

Read a passage on sheep resources after the Navajo Long Walk

The article , Post-Long Walk Sheep Resources and Rug Weaving , can be added to your own Google drive and assigned to students. It can be printed out or students can complete on their computers.

Complete two vocabulary assignments

Students provide definitions of vocabulary words based only on the context clues from the reading assignment. Next, they look up the definition of each word in the dictionary and compare their original definitions with those in the dictionary.

The ANSWER KEY for questions assigned on the reading can be found here.

Optional (but highly recommended) video on how Navajo rugs are made

This five-minute video covers every aspect of rug-making from creating yarn from raw wool to creating different colors of dye to weaving on a loom.

Make their own rugs in the Making Camp Navajo game

This game teaches more information about Navajo weaving and allows the students to weave their own virtual rugs. Instructions are below and can also be found in this Google doc that can be added to your Google classroom.

Instructions for students:

  1. Go to the Games Portal for Kids here https://www.growingmath.org/games-portal-for-kids/
  2. Scroll down and select Making Camp Navajo
  3. Go to the page that gives choices of numbers, life or random. Pick LIFE. (If this is your first time playing the game, you will have to play through the introduction to get to this page.
  4. Select the middle picture, the one with the woman weaving, to learn more about Navajo weaving and make your own rugs.
Earn page with choices of Numbers, life and random

Assessment

This lesson plan is assessed through the student assignments for vocabulary definitions. The student completion of the rug-making assignment can be documented by screenshots of their rugs. Students design a digital rug design in the Rug Design Tool and share the results with the class. The teacher can then post them in an online gallery for everyone to see.

Introducing Ratio and Proportion with Making Camp Navajo

๐Ÿ“– STANDARD

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities

โฐ Time

30 minutes

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

Either a project or smart board connected to the computer will be required to view presentation and videos in class or students will need a computer to watch during a web meeting. The game can be played on any computer or tablet with Internet access.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

Students play the Making Camp Navajo game, selecting the activity that explains ratio and proportion. The teacher reviews the activity with the class in a presentation, that includes three more problems to be completed as a group.

๐Ÿ“š Lesson

1. Play Making Camp Navajo and Learn Ratio and Proportion

Begin the lesson with students playing Making Camp Navajo. The following instructions can be pasted into a document linked to an assignment in your Google classroom or other system, or just printed out or written on the board.

Play Making Camp Navajo for an introduction to ratio and proportion

  1. Go to the Games Portal for Kids page – here https://www.growingmath.org/games-portal-for-kids/
  2. Select the icon for Making Camp Navajo. You may need to scroll down to see it. The icon looks like this:
  3. Login with your username and password your teacher gave you.
  4. Play through the introduction and until you get to the page with Numbers, Life and Random as choices, click on the Numbers box.
  5. Play the two activities that have a girl holding a lamb and an ear of corn. These will teach you about ratio and proportion and give you a few example problems and how to solve them. The two activities you are supposed to select are shown below.
Activities introducing ratio and proportion

2. Review definitions of ratio and proportion with more examples

To reinforce the information, in the presentation, use this 30-slide deck.

Google Slides presentation of Introduction to Ratio and Proportion

PowerPoint presentation of Introduction to Ratio and Proportion.

The first 13 slides review the information from the game and the subsequent 17 explain how to solve for an equivalent ratio and provide additional examples to solve as a class.

Assessment

Students’ knowledge of ratio and proportion is addressed by problems within the game and by the problems in the presentation, solved together in class.

Geometry and Ledger Art

by Avis Prentice and AnnMaria De Mars

๐Ÿ“– Standards

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.A.2
Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.

โฐ Time

90-120 minutes, including time students spend on creating shapes, measurement and creating winter count artwork

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

A computer with project/ smart board for viewing as a class or computer or mobile device for viewing videos at home is required. Art project can be done on Google Slides or PowerPoint or with markers and paper or construction paper, glue and scissors. Paper bags (optionally) can be used to simulate a hide background.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

Students begin by watching two videos that appear to be unrelated – on Native American ledger art and using a protractor to measure angles. These are explained in the presentation, that art can take many forms. Vocabulary and basic facts regarding angles are introduced. Students use an online app to create angles with different lengths of lines. After measuring lengths and angles of their shapes, students create artwork for their own event and a classroom ‘winter count’. Use of angles in computer animated art is explained. The session ends with assessment of students’ knowledge of measurement of angles.

๐Ÿ“š Lesson

Watch video on Native American Ledger Art

Watch to 5:07

Students will watch the video to the point of 5:07 , where the curator says to think of an event you really want to remember.

Watch video on using a protractor

Explain basic concepts and vocabulary of measuring angles

This 31-slide deck explains degrees as a measure of rotation, defines acute, obtuse and right angles and obtuse, acute and right triangles. Instructions are given for students creating their own ledger art. Available as Google slides here or as a PowerPoint Presentation here.

Students use an online app to create triangles from different lengths of lines.

Example from the GeoGebra app

In this exploratory activity, students should learn that a triangle cannot be created from any three lines. They will also get practice creating different angles and seeing the shapes of triangles with different angles. This activity is recommended but can be skipped if students do not have access to devices. Alternatively, the teacher or a student can create angles with result shown on a smart board/ projector.

Students create and measure shapes

As instructed in the presentation, students create lines, triangle and circles. They measure the diameter or radius of circles, length of lines and angles of triangles. Students write a description of their shapes using mathematical terms.

Students create their own artwork to commemorate an event

Students will use the shapes created in the previous activity to create original work. They will present their artwork to the class and explain its meaning.

Students watch a video on winter count

Emil Her Many Horses explains the creation and meaning of the winter count

Students combine their events to form a classroom record

Individual student events can be combined on poster board, included in a single Slides or PowerPoint document. Dr. Vivian Young recommends using large brown paper bags to simulate hides, crumpling and tearing around the edges to give more of a hide appearance.

End with presentation

Finish the slide presentation by informing students that their measurements are the first step a software developer would take in turning their artwork into computer animation for a game or website. They have been programming and did not even know it!

Assessment

An assessment of students’ knowledge of measurement of angles and types of triangles is included here as :

Google doc file for assessment

PDF version of assessment

ANSWER KEY FOR ASSESSMENT

Making a Calendar with Google Slides

๐Ÿ“– Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

โฐ Time

200 minutes (approximately 5 class periods)

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

Students will use the Internet to find a minimum of 12 appropriate images to represent their topic. Students will need access to a device with Google Slides to create calendar.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

This lesson plan allows students to explore a topic of interest to create an informational calendar. Students are to pick a topic, include an image for each month, brief explanation and source for that image. At the end of the project, students perform a self-assessment.

๐Ÿ“š Lesson

Introduce Assignment to Students

Calendar Assignment

In this assignment, you will be creating a personalized calendar using Google slides. Your calendar must consist of a minimum of 13 pages an include the following:

  1. A title slide with introduction of the topic.
  2. A page for each month with:
    1. An image related to your topic
    2. Text explaining the image and its relationship to the topic.
    3. A link to a source for the image and information on the page.

Presentation to Explain Modifying Template

Use this brief presentation to explain how to change the background on a slide and how to add images. It uses the 2022 calendar template as an example.

There are many, many Google Slides calendar templates you can find on the web. Many of these are great, some cost money, some are for 2021 and some have broken links. So, we added an example here that you, on the topic, “Indigenous”, that you can copy into your Google classroom and modify, just to make sure you would have a free template that is available and up to date. It uses a variety of methods of citing sources, from a simple web link in January to APA style in May.

The sample calendar as a PDF is found here.

Make a personalized gift

Janna Jensen, IT specialist from North Dakota, laminates each page in the calendar and binds the pages for a personalized gift from students to parents or other special people in their lives. If you have limited funds, you can just laminate the first and last page for durability, or skip lamination altogether if you don’t have a laminator.

If, like me, you don’t have a binding machine, you can just use a 3-hole punch and twist ties from cables or bags of bread. Ask the lunchroom staff to save some for you.

My first time ever using a laminator.

Make this assignment your own!

I highly recommend encouraging your students to improvise with this assignment. They can find another template on line, insert pages in between months so that each month has a large scale image at top – the possibilities are endless.

Assessment 

Students perform a self-assessment shown below. 

Related Lesson

You may wish to use this lesson to introduce students to the concepts of primary and secondary sources.

Individualized Learning

Advanced students may wish to complete these six online lessons to become more proficient with Google slides.

State Standards: North Dakota

K-5.IAI.9 Organize information using technology and other tools.


TE.K-5.MTL.11 Use technology to gather and share information with a variety of audiences in ways that others can view, use, and assess.

Calendar example with grazing lands

Making a Calendar with PowerPoint

by Janna Jensen

๐Ÿ“– Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

โฐ Time

200 minutes (approximately 5 class periods)

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

Students will use the Internet to find appropriate images to reflect tasks typically accomplished during a specific month. Students will need access to a device with PowerPoint to create calendar.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

This lesson plan allows students to explore agricultural subjects of interest to create an informational calendar. Students are to pick a field in agricultural and create a calendar outlining the big tasks performed each month. At the end of the project, students perform a self-assessment.

NOTE: While this assignment focuses on agriculture, it could be modified for any subject – science, social studies, literature, and, certainly, art.

Don’t have PowerPoint but you use Google Slides? Check out this lesson.

๐Ÿ“š Lesson

Introduce Assignment to Students

Calendar Assignment

In this assignment, you will be creating a personalized calendar using PowerPoint. Your calendar must consist of a minimum of 13 pages an include the following:

  1. A title slide with introduction of the topic.
  2. A page for each month with:
    1. An image related to your topic
    2. Text explaining the image and its relationship to the topic.

See the Agriculture Calendar for an example.

Video or Presentation on Creating Calendar with PowerPoint

Classroom Presentation

Use this PowerPoint of Instructions on how to create a calendar with PowerPoint. It is a brief 3-5 minute explanation. Instructions are also available in Google Slides format.

Video

This video is only 1:33 and shows using PowerPoint to create a calendar

Students can watch the video above, which has only music, no voice over, so it will be usable even if your students don’t have headphones or your computers don’t have speakers. It is also a good review if students are learning at home or need an extra reminder.

Make a personalized gift

I laminate each page in the calendar and bind the pages for a personalized gift from students to parents or other special people in their lives. If you have limited funds, you can just laminate the first and last page for durability, or skip lamination altogether if you donโ€™t have a laminator.

If you donโ€™t have a binding machine, you can just use a 3-hole punch and twist ties from cables or bags of bread. Ask the lunchroom staff to save some for you.

Assessment

Students perform a self-assessment shown below.

State Standards: North Dakota

K-5.IAI.9 Organize information using technology and other tools.


TE.K-5.MTL.11 Use technology to gather and share information with a variety of audiences in ways that others can view, use, and assess.

Counting ropes and rational numbers

Contributed by Lori Hieresrich

๐Ÿ“– Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.NS.A.1
Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

The lesson begins with a discussion of record keeping methods in Indigenous cultures. Students will watch video on Incan counting ropes. Students will create their own number line counting rope. Students watch another video on number lines. Students will use their number line to find Absolute Value of an integer. Students will demonstrate understanding of adding and subtracting integers on number line.

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

The videos can be watched on any computer, phone or tablet. Not technology, but each student needs 2 yards of cord. ( As long as needed for all the knots with even spaces between.) Thicker cord is better to make it more tactile. Cord that works could be hemp, leather strips, or twine.

๐Ÿ“šLesson

Start with this PowerPoint presentation. Also available as a Google Slides presentation.

NOTE: If you are using it as a PowerPoint presentation, download it before making any changes. Making changes to the PowerPoint in Google Drive will delete the animations and one of the embedded videos and you don’t want to do that.

The first five slides introduce the topic of how people from different Indigenous cultures in the Americas measured time and other quantities.

2. Watch this video on Quipu accounting

3. Make a counting rope

Students make their own counting ropes using rope, string or twine. Instructions to give students are provided in the PowerPoint.

4. Use the counting rope to solve math problems

Students follow along in the presentation to solve problems using positive integers , fractions and negative integers. The concept of absolute number is introduced, as well as the fact that adding the same number but with the opposite sign will always equal zero. If students are learning at home, they can complete the problems on their own.

Assessment

In addition to the problems completed as a class in the presentation, students complete this worksheet with problems on using a number line with positive and negative integers and absolute value. Only print the first page. The second page is the answer key.

Number line and absolute value – word doc

Number line and absolute value – pdf

Individualizing instruction (optional)

Knots on a counting rope video or the children’s book by the same name give other examples of using a rope to count. This would be appropriate for younger children or those in the class who are at a lower grade level in reading proficiency.

Mean, Median and Mode

by Dr. Craig Waddell

๐Ÿ“– Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context

โฐ Time

30-40 Minutes 

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

Device with web-browser โ€“ Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer, phone or tablet

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

Students play a game teaching basic statistics and history. Next, they are given a presentation with problems students solve finding mean, median, mode, range and outliers.

๐Ÿ“šLesson

Play a game teaching basic statistics and Latin American history

Meet the jaguars in AzTech: Meet the Maya

Play AzTech: The story begins. Students who have finished this game can continue on in the series in AzTech: Meet the Maya. Allow students 15-20 minutes to play.

Students can click on a button in the left of their screen to choose the language and play the games in either Spanish or English.

Assess knowledge of Mean, Median and Mode as a class

Use this Google slides presentation to present sets of numbers to the class to use for finding mean, median, mode and range. This is also available as a PowerPoint presentation.

This presentation can also be assigned for students to complete at home, if learning remotely. Slides with answers can be deleted, or left in for students to check their work.

Review as Necessary

If students need a review, they can watch this video on how to find the mean

Finding the Average video

Or, watch the video in Spanish

Encontrando el promedio

ASSESSMENT

You can view your studentsโ€™ progress on mastering these standards by viewing your teacher reports. AzTech: The Story Begins and AzTech: Meet the Maya links can be found on this reports page. You should have received a password during the Growing Math training.

A second form of assessment is available through this the questions in the presentation.

Related lesson/ Differentiated Instruction

If your students need instruction on computing the mean, try this lesson, Understanding the mean, with skunks. This review can be done with the entire class or assigned to individual students as needed.

Reflections on Ojibwe Migration

by Janna Jensen and AnnMaria De Mars

๐Ÿ“– Standard

5.NF.B.4   Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.

D2.His.13.3-5  Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.

โฐ Time

60 minutes

๐Ÿ“ฒ Technology Required

Students need access to a computer with web browser.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Summary

This lesson begins with a storyboard on the route and major events of the Ojibwe migration. Students then play the Forgotten Trail game, followed by watching a video on map reading. As a group, students reflect on the challenges of the Ojibwe migration, compute the distance for just one segment and convert the distance from miles to kilometers.

๐Ÿ“šLesson

Storyboard on the Ojibwe Migration

Begin with this story board on the route and major events of the Ojibwe migration. We recommend having students read each section of the story as it advances. Alternatively, the teacher may read it to the class or students can read it to themselves either on devices in the classroom or at home.

Watch a video on how to find the mean

Warning: bad singing ahead. This short video tells how to find the mean – in song.

Play the Forgotten Trail Game

Map from Forgotten Trail

Students should play the game at least through the first level. The game begins with a middle school class learning about the Ojibwe migration. Students will solve math problems related to the average number of miles walked per day and fraction of distance covered.

Watch a video on using scales in maps

This video is 7 minutes and covers what is a scale, how to use one and that different maps have different scales. If you feel your students are already familiar with this information, you may skip this video. In the days of Google maps and GPS we have found students often are not as familiar with this information as you might assume.

Presentation on Reflections on the Ojibwe Migration

In this Google slides presentation, students are asked to reflect on the Ojibwe migration. What would it have taken to survive such a journey? They use their map skills to estimate the distance of one leg of the journey, in both kilometers and miles.

Presentation is also available as a PowerPoint.

Synonyms Video

Now that students have seen synonyms as words for the same thing and miles and kilometers as measures for the same distance, finish up with this short (less than 2 minutes) video on synonyms.

Assessment

Slides 14, 18 and 21 can be printed out for students to answer individually, or can be answered as a group in class. Data are available on activities completed and math problems answered in the Forgotten Trail reports. For more information, check out our reports page.