Category Archives: seventh grade

Cross-curricular Middle School Statistics Unit

Note: When we surveyed teachers from the 2021-22 academic year, the most requested addition to the site was to combine the lessons into units. This cross-curricular statistics unit has 12 lessons that total 14 hours of class time, although some assignments could be completed as homework. With the length of this unit, it could be taught as a complete summer school course, addressing primarily mathematics standards but also incorporating English language arts, Social Studies (predominantly Indigenous and Latino history and culture) and science.

📖Standards

STATISTICS STANDARDS

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Statistics & Probability: Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2.B Ratios & Proportional Relationships: Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in  tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT 7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5
Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.6
Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability.

ADDITIONAL MATHEMATICS STANDARDS

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

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

ENGLISH/ LANGUAGE ARTS STANDARDS

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

SCIENCE STANDARDS

Next Generation Science Standard MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

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.

⏰Time Required

About 14 hours for all twelve lessons

📲Technology Required

Projector or smart board for in–class or access to computer or tablet for web meeting for remote learning. Presentations could be printed for students at home without computer access. Some lessons require use of Google sheets or similar spreadsheet software.

🧾Unit Summary

This seven-lesson unit teaches sixth- and seventh-grade standards on statistics integrated with games, Indigenous and Latino history and culture. The complete multi-media unit requires about 14 hours and includes multiple hands-on activities. 

trees in background, grass in foreground
Find your way back using clues from the plants around you

📃 Lesson 1: What is a Statistical Question? (120 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers

Teachers begin the lesson with a Google slides presentation explaining the requirements for a statistical question. Students complete an assignment identifying whether or not a question qualifies as a statistical question. After class discussion, students complete a second assignment using a small data set shown on a map. In Part 3, students write and answer their own statistical questions using a data set provided, giving an explanation for their answers. Optionally, students can complete a more challenging assignment drawing conclusions from a graph and/or play a game and identify statistical questions.

📃 Lesson 2: Mean, median and mode (35 Minutes)

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

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.

This lesson has resources to teach in both Spanish and English, for an English-only lesson, click here.

📃Lesson 3: Understanding averages using skunks (30 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

In this lesson, students will learn how to find the mean and calculate the average and practice finding the average in a game environment. They will learn about skunks and skunk farming through primary source material. Then analyzing historical data, students will calculate the average.

📃Lesson 4: Reflections on the Ojibwe Migration (60 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NF.B.4   Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number.
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.

This multi-media lesson begins with a storyboard on the route and major events of the Ojibwe migration. Students then play the Forgotten Trail game, computing the average number of miles a character walked per day, 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.

📃 Lesson 5: Science, language arts and math with wildflowers (50 Minutes)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Next Generation Science Standard MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number.

This is a true STREAM lesson. Combining science, reading, art and mathematics. Students read a description of the pine forest ecosystem and life zones. They define any new words in their personal dictionary. Students then use information on plant life to identify life zones and locate these zones in terms of altitude. Students who complete the activity before the allotted class time play a game that teaches fractions and basic statistics.

📃 Lesson 6: Teaching Frequency Tables with Indigenous Communities’ Data (70 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.

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

With a Google slides presentation, students are introduced to the concept of answering a question with data. A video is also provided for review. Using a data set of all tribal leaders in 2019, they are walked though an example of using Google Sheets to create frequency table and plots of data. Students then use the data set to create their own tables and plots. Students finish the lesson by playing a game where they learn about computing distributions in Mayan history.

📃 Lesson 7: Distributions and Mayan Trading (25 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT 7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.

The two videos here combine math and social studies, because, clearly, the Maya understood math. The concept of distributions is introduced in the context of trading, explaining why some objects are more valuable. Students play AzTech: The Story Begins, which reviews fractions and measures of central tendency. The lesson concludes with a question and another video on distributions.
(NOTE: Videos are available in Spanish and Englishfor English only lesson, click here. )

📃 Lesson 8: Food Deserts, Indigenous Seeds and Data Stories (90 Minutes)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities

This truly cross-curricular assignment begins by watching a video about seed rematriation, that is returning Indigenous seeds to their original lands. They read a short booklet on cooking and nutrition, then do a cooking activity at school or home. A presentation on food deserts includes definitions, data and actions students can take. Students add new words or phrases to their word journal and complete a math assignment using data from the presentation. Advanced students play a game to learn more math and Navajo culture.

📃Lesson 9: Reading and Comparing Bar Graphs (45 Minutes)

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

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2.B Ratios & Proportional Relationships: Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in  tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.

This lesson introduces students to reading and comparing bar graphs with proportional relationships. Students receive a slide or handout with four bar graphs and complete a set of cards with questions on the graphs. They can also complete the activity in Google slides . The lesson ends with an adventure game that includes discussion of interpreting bar graphs.

📃Lesson 10: Google Slides and Math (180 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5.C Giving quantitative measures of center and variability, as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Students play three games that teach fractions and statistics. Students learn enhanced features of Google slides. They then create a Google slides presentation stating which is their favorite game and why.

📃Lesson 11: Probability and Fruits (45 Minutes)

CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5
Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.6
Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability.

The Google slides presentation begins with definitions of probability, impossibility and certainty. Students are then given an example of a basket with different types of fruits and the probability of each. Students each come to the front of the class and pull a piece of fruit from the basket, writing down the probability of their selecting the type they obtained. The class data is used to create a table and compare the obtained probabilities to actual distribution of fruit in the basket. The lesson closes with students creating their own probability question.

NOTE: This lesson plan requires a basket of fruit. You could use pictures of fruit printed out or drawn on paper instead but using actual fruit from your area might be more fun. If you’d rather, though, we do have a random fruit basket generator to use with this lesson.

📃 Lesson 12: Teaching Statistics in Classrooms with English Learners AND Native Speakers (90 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.

This lesson includes game-based instruction and data analysis. Data can be collected at home on students’ phones or using a computer. Google sheets is used to compute descriptive statistics to answer a statistical question. Lab instructions, Sheet templates and a sample answer are included. You can modify this in an infinite number of ways to compare any two groups on any numeric variable.

Teaching Statistics in Classrooms with English Learners AND Native Speakers

 Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.

📲 Technology Required

Computer with projector, for students learning in class. Students will need access to a phone, tablet or computer.

⏰ Time Required

75-90 minutes

📃 Summary

This lesson includes game-based instruction and data analysis. Data can be collected at home on students’ phones or using a computer. Google sheets is used to compute descriptive statistics to answer a statistical question. Lab instructions, Sheet templates and a sample answer are included. You can modify this in an infinite number of ways to compare any two groups on any numeric variable.

Lesson

NOTE: This lesson assumes students understand:

Discuss the definition of a statistical question.

If students have not completed the lesson, “What is a statistical question?” , you can complete that first. It takes about two hours.

If you are REALLY short on time, or if you are just reviewing the concept you have previously taught, you can just use the first 12 slides of this presentation on What is a Statistical Question?” to give the basic definition and a few examples.

Class Discussion of Research Question

Pose a research question, for example, “Do different Spanish and English speakers differ in their interests, as determined by what they post on Instagram?” Of course, you can easily change the language if you have speakers of other languages in your class.

Next, you need a hypothesis, for example, “Spanish-speakers are more likely to post pictures of food than English speakers” or “English accounts will have more pictures of themselves than Spanish accounts”.

In selecting a hypothesis, you can discuss distribution and probability. If almost no one takes pictures of giraffes then the probability of finding enough giraffe pictures to compare is low. (Be prepared for your students to suggest the hashtag #giraffesofinstagram).

#GiraffesofInstagram

Statistics Lab Assignment : Social Media Analytics

In this assignment, each group of students will collect and analyze social media data from 10 accounts of Spanish speakers and 10 accounts of English speakers. After individual assignments are submitted, data will be combined into a single class data set and the analyses re-computed for the combined data set.

Assign Groups

After you have agreed on one research question, put your class in groups of 4 or 5 students. Ideally, each group would have at least one Spanish speaker and at least one native English speaker. Ask students to raise their hands if they have an Instagram account. Try to put at least one student with an account in each group. Groups can also include students learning from home.

Share lab documents with students to collect, enter and analyze data

Social Media Analysis. The assignment instructions, along with a sample of data collected can be downloaded here as a Google doc and printed or added to your Google classroom or other CMS.

The spreadsheet for entering data can be found here. This is a Google sheet but it can also be downloaded and saved as an Excel file if you prefer.

Optional: Provide students starting links for accounts

To help students find accounts, you can include these links in your Google classroom or other classroom management system, or any list of accounts

You can find 50 inspirational accounts in Spanish here ( https://metricool.com/es/50-cuentas-de-instagram-ordenadas-por-tematica-para-inspirarte/ )

and 20 inspirational accounts in English here – ( https://wealthygorilla.com/top-20-motivational-instagram-accounts/ )


Each group analyzes their own data

An example of a social media analysis, with formula for computing each value in Google sheets can be found here.

Class discussion

Discuss the idea of variation within the accounts. Discuss the idea of variation across the groups. Did the different groups in your class find the exact same results?

Discuss variation in samples. What could have explained the different results? Did some groups have accounts that were all celebrities, all friends, all male?

Play a game

Scene in the Disaster Deduction Detectives Academy

Play Disaster Deduction Detectives to learn how to compute the median in datasets with odd or even numbers of data.

Statistics Lab Assignment 2: Social Media Analytics with Larger Sample

In the second lab exercise (instructions found here) , students combine the data from all groups, and compute descriptive statistics again. They compare their group’s results with the whole class result and discuss possible explanations.

Assessment

Three types of assessment are included. Group assessments are the two lab assignments submitted by students – since each student in the group has the same data he/ she will have the same result. Optionally, teachers may elect to have students submit their labs individually. Individual assessment is included within the DDD game where students must identify a statistical question, compute mean, median and quartiles. Whole class assessment occurs during the two discussion session.

Related lessons

We recommend this lesson follow Teaching Frequency Tables with Indigenous Communities’ Data.

Ratio and Proportion Unit

Note: When we surveyed teachers from the 2021-22 academic year, the most requested addition to the site was to combine the lessons into units. Of course, your average teacher could do this but your average teacher is also short of time. So, here is our first unit. More to follow soon.

📖Standards

CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.1 Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.1 Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

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

⏰Time Required

About 4 hours for all seven lessons

📲Technology Required

Projector or smart board for in–class or access to computer or tablet for web meeting for remote learning. Presentation could be printed for students at home without computer access.

🧾Unit Summary

This seven-lesson unit teaches sixth- and seventh-grade standards on ratio and proportion using real-world problems. Complete unit requires about 4 hours and includes multiple hands-on activities.

📃 Lesson 1: Teach Ratio with Math Snacks (90 Minutes)

CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.1 Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.

Students watch a video from Math Snacks in which Isabella uses the ratio of words she speaks to her date to determine if it was a good or bad day. The video has a companion teacher guide with questions to stimulate students’ thinking about ratios and test their understanding. Students play a game where they brew potions with given ratios to defeat an opponent. Students then complete a learner’s guide assessing and reinforcing their knowledge of ratios.

📃 Lesson 2: Ratios as Fractions (10 Minutes)

Summary

Standard: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.1 Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Yes, this lesson plan is just a video. We watched LOTS of boring videos on ratios and rates to find this one! This video can be used before or after the lesson on Introduction to Ratio and Proportion, either as an introduction for students who need more preparation or a second look for students who could benefit from having the material presented in a different way.

📃 Lesson 3: Introduce Ratios and Proportion (30 minutes)

Standard: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.1 Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Summary: Students are presented with definitions of ratio and proportion along with multiple examples and ways to solve these problems. This presentation includes multiple explanations for multiple levels of understanding. There is a solution using algebra, with cross-multiplication and an explanation of why cross-multiplication works. There is also an explanation using equivalent fractions. If you are teaching an algebra class, use the first explanation and delete the second. For a more basic math class, delete the first explanation and just use equivalent fractions. Also includes a baking activity, not required but highly recommended.

📃Lesson 4: Ratio, Proportion and Animal Identification (65 Minutes)

Standard: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.1 Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Students hear or read a presentation on ratio, percentage decrease, rate and proportion. They watch a short video on ratio. Students collect data either outdoors or using images provided. They then compute ratio, rate, increase and proportion using the data.

📃Lesson 5: Introducing Ratio and Proportion with Making Camp Navajo (30 Minutes)

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

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.

📃Lesson 6: Rates, Ratios and Proportions with Fractions (40 Minutes)

Standards: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.1 Compute unit rates, including those that involve complex fractions, with like or different units.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2.C. Represent proportional relationships by equations

Students watch a 4-minute video giving examples of finding unit rates by simplifying fractions. They solve a problem together as a class and are given a short lecture on solving rate problems with complex fractions. Problems provided can be worked by students individually or done together in class.

📃Lesson 7: Discover Dairy – Ratio in the Cow Life Cycle (65 Minutes)

Standards:CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.1 Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

This cross-curricular lesson is from Discover Dairy. Students read a passage on the life cycle of dairy cows. A guided class discussion answers questions on the life cycle. The lesson concludes with a challenging lab in which students create a healthy cow diet.

Distributions and Mayan Trading (Bilingual English & Spanish)

📖Standard

7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population. Understand that random sampling tends to produce representative samples and support valid inferences.

Minnesota State Standard – History Sub-strand 4, Standard 15 “North America was populated by indigenous nations that had developed a wide range of social structures, political systems, and economic activities, and whose expansive trade networks extended across the continent.”

Time

20- 30 Minutes 

📲Technology Required

Device with web-browser – Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer, phone or tablet

📃Summary

The two videos here combine math and social studies, because, clearly, the Maya understood math. The concept of distributions is introduced in the context of trading, explaining why some objects are more valuable. Students play AzTech: The Story Begins, which reviews fractions and measures of central tendency. The lesson concludes with a question and another video on distributions.

📚Lesson Plan

1. Watch video – Mayan Trading (1:57)

Also available in Spanish! – El Comercio Maya (1:58)

El Comercio Maya

The Mayan trading video is based on an idea from one of my favorite history teachers, who says that history is more than just names and dates but also how people lived, what they used, what they did. It also has a bar chart of the relative value of objects. It explains that the Maya traded less common items for more common ones and that items that were more difficult to obtain were more valuable.

2. Play AzTech: Meet the Maya

Next, have students start the AzTech games series. They can play AzTech: Meet the Maya online or using an iPad. We recommend downloading the game onto your iPhone or iPad for better performance.

3. Question to test understanding

José tried to trade a banana for a quetzal feather and a villager threw a spear at him. Why would the villager do that? Explain using math. Extra points if you can discuss distributions in your explanation.

José ofreció intercambiar un plátano por una pluma de quetzal y un aldeano le lanzó una lanza. ¿Por qué haría eso? Explica usando la matemática. Puntos extra si puedes hablar de distribuciones en tu explicación.

4. Video giving the answer to the word problem on distributions (5:15)

Also available in Spanish! (5:15)

Explicando distribuciones y variabilidad

This five-minute video introduces distributions and variability and gives an example of computing a weighted mean from a frequency distribution.

OPTIONAL You can also copy this Google slides presentation to your own classroom if you’d rather modify the explanation for your own lecture. The slides can also be printed out and sent home with students who do not have Internet access.

Spanish Google Slides presentation – Introduciendo Distribuciones

ASSESSMENT

You can view your students’ progress on mastering these standards by viewing your teacher reports. The link to the teacher dashboard for AzTech: Meet the Maya student reports can be found on this page. You should have received a password during the Growing Math training.

State Standards

Minnesota State Standard 6.4.1.1 – Determine the sample space (set of possible outcomes) for a given experiment and determine which members of the sample space are related to certain events. Sample space may be determined by the use of tree diagrams, tables or pictorial representations.

Related Lesson

Distributions and Mayan Trading – This lesson is the English Only version of the lesson above.

Discover Dairy: Cow Life Cycle

📖 Standards

CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.1 Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

📲 Technology Required

Computer with printer to print lab work sheets, for in-class use. Computer or tablet with Internet access for home use.

Heads up! For the lab in this lesson you will need spinach, carrots, cheese sticks, orange juice, and a weight scale and/or measuring cups. It is not required to do the lab 2 component but recommended.

⏰ Time

60-70 minutes

📃 Summary

This cross-curricular lesson is from Discover Dairy. Students read a passage on the life cycle of dairy cows. A guided class discussion answers questions on the life cycle. The lesson concludes with a challenging lab in which students create a healthy cow diet.

Lesson

NOTE: While we create most lessons on the Growing Math site ourselves, we do include links to other lessons that are exemplary in their cross-curricular, standards-based design. This lesson is one of two “lessons we love” from Discover Dairy. The entire 14-page guide with two lessons can be downloaded here, including reading passages, lab assignments and answer keys.

You can also go to the Discover Dairy site, which requires a free registration and login to download individual parts of the lesson and see the other lessons they have available.

Read a passage on the life cycle of a dairy cow

You’ll find this on page 14 of the handout linked above or download both reading assignments here (it’s only two pages) or copy the link to assign in your Google classroom to read on line.

Class Discussion on Life Cycle

Using the discussion questions on page 4 of the complete lesson plan, discuss the dairy cow life cycle with students based on their knowledge from the reading.

dairy cow

Lab Exercise #2 Feeding a Dairy Cow

Each student or group will need a scale or measuring cup and the following:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • Baby or whole carrots
  • 1 cheese stick
  • One 12 oz. cup of orange juice

Distribute the materials needed and the lab assignment (pages 11 and 12 of the complete lesson plan or you can link directly to those here, if you want to assign in Google classroom or other management system. Note that link includes both labs 1 and 2.) Lab explanation from page 5 of the complete lesson plan.

Teachers should explain that a healthy, well-cared-for cow will give more milk. The way farmers care for their cows and how they feed them has helped to increase the amount of milk cows give over the past 50 years.  Just like our diets, a cow’s diet must be balanced based on her stage of life. For instance, a baby calf requires higher energy foods to fuel her rapid growth.  A cow that has just given birth requires higher levels of certain nutrients to replenish her body. Farmers must adjust rations to accommodate those needs.  Farmers work closely with an animal nutritionist and use a variety of feed products to balance cows’ diets to meet their precise nutrient needs using a variety of feed products.  Farmers use a large feeding scale to make sure each cow gets the right amount of each feed. Those feeds are blended together to provide a balanced diet called a Total Mixed Ration (TMR). During the lab, students should use the carrots, celery, cheese and orange juice to balance a diet to meet the required nutrients listed on the lab worksheet. They should use a weight scale to measure the right amount of each feed. If they don’t have a weight scale, they can use measuring cups to determine the amount. Complete the ratios in the worksheet.

– Discovery Dairy

Answer keys for this lab exercise as well as for the lab for the selective breeding lesson can be found here.

Review and Summarize Dairy Cow Life Cycle: What We’ve Learned

Review questions and summary can be found on pages 5 and 6 of the complete lesson plan.

ASSESSMENT

This lesson includes three types of assessment – the initial class discussion gives an estimate of the general class understanding of the dairy cow life cycle. The lab provides individual student data on mastery of both the science and math concepts. The concluding review questions can be poised to the whole class or given to students as a quiz.

Related lesson

Discover Dairy: Selective Breeding

Discover Dairy: Selective Breeding

📖 Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

📲 Technology Required

Computer with projector, for in-class use. Computer or tablet with Internet access for home use.

⏰ Time

60-70 minutes

📃 Summary

This cross-curricular lesson is one of two “lessons we love” from Discover Dairy. Students watch a short video, read a passage on selective breeding in dairy cows, have a discussion and complete a lab exercise in selective breeding.

Lesson

NOTE: While we create most lessons on the Growing Math site ourselves, we do include links to other lessons that are exemplary in their cross-curricular, standards-based design. This is one of two lessons we love from Discover Dairy. The entire 14-page lesson can be downloaded here, including reading passages, lab assignments and answer keys.

You can also go to the Discover Dairy site, which requires a free registration and login to download individual parts of the lesson and see the other lessons they have available.

Start with a video

Watch a four-minute video on dairy farms to kick the lesson off.

Read a passage on selective breeding in dairy cows

You’ll find this on page 13 of the handout linked above or download both reading assignments here (it’s only two pages) or copy the link to assign in your Google classroom to read on line.

Class Discussion on Selective Breeding

See page 2 of the full lesson linked above for suggested discussion questions. Note that the first question asks about the 7 types of dairy cows- the 7 types of cows are picture on the complete lesson plan on page 7.

Lab Exercise #1 : Selective Breeding

Pass out the lab activity #1 sheets, in pages 9 and 10 of the complete lesson plan. You can link directly to those here, if you want to assign in Google classroom or other management system. Note that link includes both labs 1 and 2.

Once students have the materials, explain the lab activity. You may want to use the explanation given on pages 2-3 of the lesson plan.

Answer keys for both lab exercises can be found here.

Not a dairy cow
Bovine, but not a dairy cow

Read a passage on the life cycle of a dairy cow

You’ll find this on pages 14 of the handout linked above or download both reading assignments here (it’s only two pages) or copy the link to assign in your Google classroom to read on line.

Answer keys for both lab exercises can be found here.

ASSESSMENT

Two types of assessment occur in this lesson. During the class discussion, teachers can get an assessment of the understanding of the concepts of the class as a whole and the lab assignment can be used for individual assessment.

Related Lesson

Discover Dairy: Life Cycle of the Dairy Cow

Analogies with sheep and goats

📖Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.5.B Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.

Dine’ Culture Standards (3.PO2) I will develop an understanding of Dine’ way of life through Iina’. I will implement and recognize the Dine’ lifestyle. I will present the stories related to Land and Water Beings.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.EE.B.3 Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals)

LESSON TIME

25 -30 minutes including game play

📲TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

A device with a web-browser – PC, Mac or Chromebook – or phone or tablet.

📃Summary

Students play a game which teaches about raising lambs, the uses of sheep and the ratio of single to twin lambs. The lesson ends with definitions of sheep and goat vocabulary and examples of analogies with sheep and goats. Optionally, students may complete a word journal assignment.

📚Lesson

Start with a game

Students begin by playing Making Camp Navajo. You can just copy and paste these instructions into your Google classroom or other system, or just copy and show in a projector on the board – old school rules!

You can assign your students usernames and passwords or you can send us a list and we will register your students for you. Email the list to growingmath@7generationgames.com . Your students can create their own usernames and password but we do not recommend this, mostly because they will forget what they entered.


Play Making Camp Navajo

There are three activities students should play. If you have not played before, the game will start you at the introduction. If you are a returning user, log in and click on the Life tab.

Earn page with choices of Numbers, life and random

Learn about sheep in Navajo daily life

On the LIFE page, you’ll see two photos with sheep in them. Play both of those sections.

Next, go to the numbers page and pick this option to learn a little more about sheep.

Many lambs

Now that you have read the instructions, here is the link to go to Making Camp Navajo.


Learn the vocabulary

Now that students have learned about sheep, let’s learn some sheep and goat vocabulary using this Google slides presentation. The presentation ends with two examples of analogies, then asks the students to give their own examples of analogies.

Assessment

This lesson has two types of assessment. Making Camp Navajo automatically records students answer to problems in the three game activities, assessing the Diné and math standards. The analogies produced by students address the ELA standard.

Differentiated Instruction

For students who struggle with vocabulary, including English learners, you may wish to include a word journal assignment. Some teachers call it a personal dictionary. Regardless, the goal is the same, for students to record new words, give a dictionary definition and “make the word their own”. This can be done by rewriting the definition in their own words, using the word in a sentence or including an illustration of the word.

Two dictionary sites to recommend for definitions are below. An added bonus to mention to students is that they can hear words pronounced.

Since students often ask for an example, here is an example you can link in your lesson.

The personal dictionary assignment, with all links, can be found here. Feel free to copy and paste into your Google classroom or other site, or print out for your class.

Related lesson

The Navajo-Churro: America’s first domestic sheep

The Navajo-Churro: America’s First Domestic Sheep

📖STANDARD

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

7th-8th Diné History Standards – I will understand historical/factual events, people and symbols that influence my family. Concept 1.PO2.  I will identify an event relating to important people in Diné history.

LESSON TIME

90 minutes including time for research

📃SUMMARY

Vocabulary and historical events key to Navajo sheep farming are provided in a slide presentation. Students learn more about Navajo agriculture and history through a video, their own research, and a game combining math and history. Academic vocabulary is at the 7th grade level.

📚Lesson

Navajo-Churros: America’s First Domestic Sheep

Introduce sheep farming in Navajo and southwest history with this presentation, for an editable Google slides version, go here. The same presentation as a PowerPoint is found here. Students will learn vocabulary words related to general livestock farming and specifically to sheep.

VIDEO: Irene’s Churro Lambs

YouTube video: Irene’s Churro Lambs

Research and Writing Assignments

This assignment has two parts. In the first part, students research one of these events in history to learn more about it. They locate a primary source and a secondary source with citations, and then write an objective summary. In Part B, students select two research questions of interest, from a list provided, and conduct research to find the answers. A Google doc of the assignment can be found here.

Answer key for Part B can be found here.

Differentiated Instruction: Accommodations for learners with special needs

For the assignment above, for learners with special needs, you may wish to assign only one of the two parts. Generally, we would assign Part B, finding the answers to research questions. This is also a modification for students who are English language learners.

GAME: Making Camp Navajo LIFE Module 

Students can play the three Making Camp Navajo modules for 20 minutes. The following instructions can be copied into Google classroom, pasted into a Zoom chat or given in class.

Go to Making Camp Navajo https://7generationgames.com/making_camp_navajo/

Play through until you reach the LIFE tab and play all of the activities you find there.

These are the three activities you will play

  • LOL: Lots on Lambs
  • The Many Uses of Sheep
  • Rug Design 

ASSESSMENT

This lesson includes three forms of assessment

  1. Objective Summary of Research (written assignment)
  2. Research to answer questions on an event with primary/secondary sources
  3. Making Camp Navajo Gameplay

Making Camp Navajo – Student Activities completed can be seen in the Making Camp Navajo teacher reports

  1. Assessment in lamb care/lambing season. (True or False)
  2. Assessment in the Many Uses of Sheep for Navajo history. (Matching game)
  3. Students can screenshot a picture of their rug design, like below. 

Geometry and Ledger Art

by Avis Prentice and AnnMaria De Mars

📖 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.

⏰ Time

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

📲 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.

📃 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.

📚 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

📖 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.

⏰ Time

200 minutes (approximately 5 class periods)

📲 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.

📃 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.

📚 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.

Differentiated Instruction

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.