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© All Rights Reserved

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S00099220 2013

In looking for a subject that I wanted to focus on for this unit planning

assignment, I wanted to try and create a few different ways of presenting

material to students instead of just the plain old board/text book work. So with

that in mind, I thought that choosing to focus on 'Using units of measurement'

within the Measurement & Geometry strand, would be an area that I could best

apply this tactic. Some of the strategies I have used include incorporating

modelling tasks that helps facilitate a problem solving environment and enables

class discussions to take place by using real world situations/context. Blum and

Niss (1991), argue that the "incorporation of problem solving, applications and

modelling aspects and activities in mathematics instruction is well suited to

assist students in acquiring, learning and keeping mathematical concepts,

notions, methods and results, by providing motivation for and relevance of

mathematical studies. " This idea of providing motivation is also maintained by

Stillman, Brown, and Galbraith, (2008), but they also add that "the goal is to

equip students with skills that enable them to apply and communicate

mathematics in relation to the solving of problems in their world." Using tasks

like this also gives students the opportunity to take control of their learning and

as such enables the teacher to become a facilitator of this learning experience.

This leads on to the premise of "strengthening students' self-regulation of

learning requires that teachers actively engage them in complex mathematical

tasks that require them to construct their mathematics understanding in

meaningful ways, as well as addressing their individual needs and learning

styles" (Paek, 2010). These are the types of tasks that are to be considered for

this unit plan to help achieve these goals.

Along with modelling there are degrees of estimating embedded within some of

the tasks. "Estimation plays an important role in learning both the principles and

procedures of measurement. As well as giving students the opportunity to

become engaged in mathematical activities such as problem solving, the

application of other area of mathematics, and explorations of the link between

abstract mathematics ideas and real-world applications" (Gooya, Khosroshahi,

Teppo, 2011).

Also within this unit are opportunity for students to engage with visual and more

'concrete' materials to assist with tasks. This enables a more hands on approach

and gives students a different perspective of 2d and 3d figures and how area and

volume can be seen this way.

This unit aims to build upon each lesson by incorporating various techniques and

content learnt throughout the classes. This can be seen done in a number of

activities where students will need to combine knowledge of say volume and

surface area to complete a task. This enables students to continue to maintain

and build their level of understanding so that each student has every chance of

Page 1 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

becoming fully competent in this area. These same tasks enable the teacher the

opportunity to gauge how students are going and help can be given. Students

who are 'coping' can be identified also, and the opportunity then exists to push

them to the next level. This can also be seen in the outline of the unit, where

there is equal opportunity for time spent on introducing topics and for time on

enhancing those topics.

Unit Planner

Content strand: Measurement and Geometry

Focus: Using Units of Measurement

Year level: 9

Lesson

number

1

3

4

5

6

9

Page 2 of 37

Topic

Introduction to Measurement

Brainstorming

Estimation/Modelling Task

Area of Composite shapes

Building Understanding

Worksheets

Area of Australia Task

Area of Composite shapes continued

Modelling Task

Area of parallelograms, trapeziums,

rhombuses and kites

Beginning Activity

Drawing Activity

House Activity

Surface area

Introduction activity

Worksheets

Surface Area Continued

Tangram activity

Klein Cube activity

Volume

Introduction

Volume of boxes activity

Volume Continued

Tall vs. Short activity

Orientating

Orientating

Enhancing

Orientating

Enhancing/Evaluating

Orientating

Enhancing

Orientating/Enhancing

Enhancing/Evaluating

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

10

Lesson 1113

14

S00099220 2013

Can in a Box activity

Ballot Problem

Student Task: Baby in the Car

Trivia competition

Enhancing/Evaluating

Enhancing/Evaluating

Enhancing

Australian Curriculum/AusVELS

Standards and Outcomes

Level 9 Achievement Standard: (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and

Reporting Authority, 2013)

Measurement and Geometry:

Students solve measurement problems involving perimeter and area of

composite shapes, surface area and volume of rectangular prisms and cylinders,

with and without the use of digital technology. They relate three-dimensional

objects to two-dimensional representations. Students explain similarity of

triangles, interpret rations and scale factors in similar figures, and apply

Pythagoras's theorem and trigonometry to solve problems involving angles and

lengths in right-angled triangles.

Scope & Sequence:(ACARA, 2013)

Find perimeters and areas of parallelograms, trapeziums, rhombuses and

kites

Solve problems involving the surface area and volume of right prisms

Calculate the surface area and volume of cylinders and solve related

problems (May need to include this)

Understanding: Includes describing the relationship between graphs and

equations, simplifying a range of algebraic expressions, explaining the use of

relative frequencies to estimate probabilities, and the use of trigonometric ratios

for right-angled triangles

Fluency: Includes applying the index laws to expressions with integer indices,

expressing numbers in scientific notation, listing outcomes for experiments and

Page 3 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

calculating areas of shapes and surface areas of prisms.

Problem Solving: Includes formulating, and modelling practical situations

involving surface areas and volumes of right prisms, applying ratio and scale

factors to similar figures, solving problems involving right angle trigonometry,

and collecting data from secondary sources to investigate an issue.

Reasoning: Includes following mathematics arguments, evaluating media reports

and using statistical knowledge to clarify situations, developing strategies in

investigating similarity and sketching linear graphs.

Aim: Getting students prepared for the unit of work by revisting and

recalling on prior knowledge gained in previous years of studying

measurement.

Year 8 student outcomes (ACARA, 2013):

convert from one unit to another

Find perimeters and areas of parallelograms, rhombuses and kites

Investigate the relationship between features of circles such as

circumference, area, radius and diameter. Use formulas to solve problems

involving circumference and area

Develop the formulas for volumes of rectangular and triangular prisms and

prisms in genera;. Use formulas to solve problems involving volume.

Solve problems involving duration, including using 12 and 24 hour time

within a single time zone.

Activities

Brainstorming:

Getting students as a class or in groups to discuss aspects of

measurement. Things to consider could be; What comes to mind when

thinking of measurment? What types/ways are there of measureing

things? What can be measured? etc.

Page 4 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Estimation/Modelling task:

Have students estimate and consider ways of measuring various types of

objects such as the height of the room etc. Also can look at the picture

analysis task (see appendix 1) where students will need to determine the

height shown in the given picture. This is not limited to this picture but

can have other pictures as well to incite discussion within the class. The

results from this can them be discussed with the class where you can get

the whole class thinking about the accuracy of their findings

Resources

Display of the picture to be looked at. May need to resort to

handouts if projector not available.

Aim: Begin work on the study of Composite shapes

Key Outcomes addressed:

composite shapes

Fluency: Calculating areas of shapes

Problem Solving

Activities:

Building Understanding:

Possible use of geoboards, if available, or computer software/paper to give

students the opportunity to develop work on composite shapes. Also

understanding that partitioning composite shapes into rectangles and triangles is

a strategy for solving problems involving area.

Worksheets:

Have a few introductory activities and then build to some problems for students

to work on during class (see Appendix 2.) Not Limited to these worksheets just

an example for what could be used.

Page 5 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Area of Australia:

Have the problem set up of trying to determine the area of Australia by dividing

it up into shapes and determining the area of those to a scale length. This could

be done from an atlas or by giving students a map of Australia. This can then be

compared to the actual area of Australia to see how close students were.

Resources

Worksheets

Map of Australia

Sequence

Building on understanding and learning of area from previous lesson. This will

continue on to the next lesson. Depending on how periods are structured lesson

2 and 3 could be done together, or even 1 and 2.

Aim: Continue work on the area of composite shapes

Key Outcomes addressed

composite shapes

Fluency: Calculating areas of shapes

Problem Solving

Reasoning

Activities

Modelling Task:

Use something like that of the Christmas calendar task as set up in appendix 3.

This could be done as a group/pair task or individually completed and provides a

situation where working out areas of composite shapes to take on a 'real world'

meaning. This task could be extended to include aspects of cost analysis as well

as other aspects of mathematics to extend the learning experience.

Page 6 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

areas of composite shapes and can provide time to assist students who may be

finding trouble with the current topic. Along with this, time to continue work on

the previous lessons activities can be made available .

Resources

Lesson 2 resources

Christmas calendar resources (See appendix 3)

Sequence

This lesson continues on from Lesson 2 by building skills in estimation and

problem solving as well as gaining understanding in working out areas of

complex shapes. This lesson will then lead on with that of working out the areas

of the different shapes introduced in the next lesson

Aim: Students should begin to feel comfortable in determine ways in which to

calculate areas of the shapes considered so far. This lesson will introduce the

ways of determining the area of each of the given shapes in the lesson title.

Key Outcomes addressed

kites

Problem solving

Understanding

Activities

Beginning activity:

Page 7 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Introduce the shapes that form the topic of this lesson to the students. This

could simply be done by having them up on the board and discussing with the

class on how to find the area of each shape.

Drawing activity:

One idea I have is instead of jumping straight to formula work, get students to

draw the various shapes, possibly on a dotted page/grid page and have them try

and calculate the areas that way. Then see if students are able to determine their

own rules/formula to determine the area of each shape. This would help by

drawing various sized images of the same type of shape to help students find

similarities. After students have spent some time on this, there is the option to

discuss their findings as a class, then, if need be, go through the actual formulas

with students.

This activity could be enhanced by using an application on the computer, via the

internet, to help students graph their shapes and help in the initial stages of

determine the areas

Resources

Computer application such as an online geoboard for example

Sequence

Students will continue to maintain and build on their understanding of

measurement. The information gained from this lesson and from the previous

lessons will be important to help students with the next lesson where students

will be required to map out a floor plan of their homes and determine the area of

that.

Aim: Having students utilise what they have learnt so far in drawing up and

determining areas for their own house. This will help reinforce the topics of area

and will provide a class where the teacher is able to evaluate the students

current progress in this content strand.

Key Outcomes addressed

Page 8 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

kites

Understanding

Fluency

Problem Solving

Reasoning

Activity

Get students to map out/draw a version of their home by utilising the shapes

that they are familiar with so far. I image this as looking like a floor plan of their

house so it might be wise to provide students with an example at the start to

give them an idea of where to start for their own house. Then have students

determine different areas of their house and record their method and answers to

show understanding of the area. This could be down on A4 sized paper but I think

an A3 size would enable students to provide both working and diagram on the

same paper which would be easier for them. Depending on the capabilities of the

students the results could see some houses utilising more complex composite

shapes down to the very basic of rectangles/triangles.

Resources

An example of a floor plan to use as a starter

rulers etc

grid paper might be useful for students to map their houses on

Sequence

This lesson ties in the content from lessons 1 to 4 so would be wise to keep this

after those lessons. This lesson could also be completed after work on surface

area has been done and as a result could enable the task to include aspects of

this as well.

Aim: By utilising the knowledge gained in previous lessons on area, students will

begin to apply this to determining the total surface area of various shapes.

Key outcomes addressed

Page 9 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Calculate the surface area of cylinders

Problem Solving: Includes formulating, and modelling practical situations

involving surface areas

Activities

Introduction activity:

Have the idea of bringing in to class some 3d models that can be assembled and

disassembled for students. This will be useful to show to students the different

faces/sides of a shape that need to be considered when determine the total

surface area of a shape. Instead of just explaining this to students, there is the

option to pose the question to the students by asking them how they would work

out the total area of these models. Another question that could be asked is to ask

students to consider how they might determine the total surface area of their

classroom or some other relevant building. The idea for this activity is to enable

students to separate 3d shapes into 2d shapes that can them be used to find the

area.

Worksheet:

Remainder of lesson can be dedicated to working on some problems for a

worksheet or other relevant exercises

Resources

unfolded to highlight the many faces of the shape. Other ideas could

includes boxes (cereal box for example) or a Pringles container(nice

cylinder shape to measure)

Worksheet/exercise

Sequence

This lesson begins students work on Surface area and will be completed once

students have finished work on the previous lessons of area. This lesson will then

continue on to the lesson 7 where students will continue work on surface area by

introducing some different activities

Page 10 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Aim: A couple activities to provide some variety and help develop some deeper

thinking.

Key Outcomes addressed

Spatial reasoning

Logical/Critical thinking

Problem Solving

Activities

Tangram:

Here students will be given the task of creating various shapes from the tangram

pieces. A nice little activity promoting spatial reasoning and logical thinking but

also sticking to the content area of measurement. Though could be also used

when studying geometry and exploring the task further there. See appendix 4

for full task.

Klein Cube:

Again, another nice activity that is slightly more complex than the previous

activity but again contributes to the learning of surface area and the use of nets.

See appendix 5 for full task.

Resources

Paper and materials to give to students so they can build and create the

items from the activities.

Sequencing

This lesson provides some activities that aren't limited to being used at this time.

I suggest these activities as additions to the previous lessons on surface area

and could be used in conjunction with those or for I might be looking for an

activity to run for another lesson.

Page 11 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Lesson 8: Volume

Aim: By now students will have completed work on various types of area

calculation. Now by using this knowledge students will be able to consider the

addition of height/depth to calculate the volume of various shapes and objects.

Key outcomes addressed

Problem Solving: Includes formulating, and modelling practical situations

involving volumes of right prisms

Activities

Introduction:

Reuse some of the models used for Lesson 6 to use as examples to show to

students how one might go about determining the volume of each of these

shapes. Along with this, provide the opportunity for students to understand that

volume can be easily determine by finding the area of say the base of an object

and multiplying it by the height.

Volume of boxes activity:

This activity requires students to determine the area of various boxes created

using grid paper. The idea is to cut out a square from each corner and then fold

the remaining 'net' into a box. Then students will determine the area of the box

created. The main task will require students to cut varying sized squares to

create different sized boxes and determining which will yield the greatest

volume. A full write up of the task can be found in the appendix 6.

Resources

Grid paper and craft materials to assemble boxes

Sequence

This lesson begins students study of volume and will be timed to occur once

lessons involving area have been completed. In terms of the next lesson I am

thinking that this would work well for a double period as the activity from this

lesson could require more than the 50 mins allowed for each lesson. As well as

the fact that the next lesson will involve some activities for volume of cylinders

and I think it is beneficial that students see that determining the volume of

cylinders is similar to that of cubes, boxes etc.

Page 12 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Aim: This lesson will continue on from the previous lesson by adding the

measuring of the volume of cylinders.

Key outcomes addressed

Solve problems involving the surface area and volume of right prisms

Calculate the surface area and volume of cylinders and solve related

problems

Problem Solving: Includes formulating, and modelling practical situations

involving volumes of right prisms

Activities

Apart for time to continue work from lesson 9 this lesson can include the

following.

Tall vs. Short activity:

For this activity I will have two cylinders each created from an A4 piece of paper.

However one has been folded around its length while the other using its width,

thus creating one tall and one short cylinder. Then ask the students which would

hold the greater volume or if they would be the same. After some discussion

students can then go about calculating the actual volume of each cylinder to find

out the answer to this problem. This activity used in conjunction with the box

activity from lesson 9 can be used to incite discussion as in to why the differing

volume results occurred.

Can in box problem:

This activity asks the question of how many cans one might fit into a cardboard

box. This could be set up on the board giving measurements, or having the

actual box and can to show the class. This can lead to a brainstorming idea on

how this could be calculated to provide an accurate answer. Simply following the

procedure of dividing the volume of the box by that of the can is one way of

solving this but does it provide a reasonable answer. Having the actual box and

can in class would be handy in providing a more concrete material to assist in

solving this problem

Resources

students can create their own

Page 13 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Cardboard box and a can (preferably one that fits the cylindrical shape

familiar to students)

If continuing on from previous lesson, then will require materials from that

lesson as well

Sequencing

As mentioned in the previous lesson, this lesson would work well in conjunction

with lesson 9 to help build the students understanding of volume.

Aim: This lesson will be used to tie together the range of content covered so far

by providing the opportunity for students to work together to solve the problem

Key outcomes addressed

Find perimeters and areas of parallelograms, trapeziums, rhombuses and

kites

Solve problems involving the surface area and volume of right prisms

Calculate the surface area and volume of cylinders and solve related

problems

Problem solving

Reasoning

Activity:

Students will be given the task of solving the problem posed in the activity (See

appendix 7). Here students will work in groups to determine how best to solve

this problem and incite discussion within each group. Along with this students

will be required to use aspects of surface area and volume in order to solve this

task. This task gives a range of options for the teacher to step in and assist but

mostly allows students to engage in their own learning. Some visual aids like

having a ream of paper might help in allowing students to measure that to help

in their estimations and assumptions. This task can be concluded by bringing the

class together and discussing each groups results

Resources

Way of displaying the problem via projector or have handouts for each

group

Visual aids such as a box of paper to prompt ideas if students are having

trouble

Page 14 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Sequence

This lesson will be used to tie in students' understanding of volume with area. As

such this lesson should be completed after the initial lessons on volume have

been completed but can be used as an activity for the study of volume as well.

For the purpose of the Student Task I have decided to use the task "Baby in the

Car" task outlined on the Maths 300 website

The reason why I have chosen this task is because it incorporates the aspects of

volume and surface area covered in this topic, as well as that of problem solving,

modelling, spatial reasoning, and a real life context. So not only is it appropriate

in terms of satisfying requirements of the outcomes for this topic but it also

creates a task in which students can develop other areas of mathematics.

Technology can also be used in this task to help assist in modelling the situation

which gives the students a visual representation of the problem at hand. Also

there is the option to create a presentation as well which can be used to extend

the task

I have provided the full activity in the appendix 8 section.

Page 15 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Aim: A nice way to finish of the topic of measurement by having a competition

among the students in the form of a trivia contest.

Activity:

Have students split into teams where they will be competing against one

another in the form of a trivia contest. I suggest have 3-4 rounds set up so that

there is enough time to both complete each round and tally the scores. Each

round will consists of various questions covering topics of area, surface area and

volume as well as including some general knowledge questions. These general

knowledge questions could include pop culture, sports etc to add a bit of flavour

to the competition. Can have some prizes set up for the winning team, or

depending on the number of teams, have a 1st,2nd and 3rd placing for prizes.

Resources

topics from this unit

Prizes if one wants to give them

Sequence

I have set this as a lesson to be completed at the end of the unit as it can be

used to target all the topics covered so far, but this doesn't stop one from using

this say halfway through the unit to help break it up a bit. If going for the half

way option then questions will then be targeted more towards what has been

Page 16 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

covered so far. However I like this as a finisher as it provides a nice way to end

the topic and can be fun for both the students and the teacher.

Page 17 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, (2013).

Mathematics. Retrieved from

http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Mathematics/Content-structure

Blum, W., & Niss, M., (1991). Applied mathematical problem solving, modelling,

applications, and links to other subjects State, trends and issues in

mathematics instruction. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 22, 37-68.

Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching, (2013). Retrieved from

http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/

Gooya, Z., Khosroshahi, L. G., Teppo, A. R. (2011). Iranian students' measurement

estimation performance involving linear and area attributes of real-world

objects. ZDM, 43(5), 709-722.

LEMA, (2013). LEMA-Project, Retrieved from http://www.lemaproject.org/web.lemaproject/web/eu/tout.php

Maths 300, (2013). Retrieved from http://www.maths300.esa.edu.au/

Paek, L. P. (2010), Factors contributing to gender differences in mathematics

performance of united states high school students. In H. J. Forgasz, J. R.

Becker, K. H. Lee & O. B. Steinthorsdottir (Eds.), International Perspective

on Gender and Mathematics Education (pp. 203 - 224). Charlotte, NC:

Information Age Publishing

Stillman, G., Brown, J., & Galbraith, P. (2008), Research into the teaching and

learning of applications and modelling in Australasia. In H. Forgasz, A.

Barkatsas, A. Bishop, B. Clarke, S. Keast, W. T. Seah & P. Sullivan (Eds.),

Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia: Research in

Mathematics Education in Australasia 2004-2007 (pp. 141 - 164).

Rotterdam, The Netherlands : Sense publishers.

Page 18 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Appendix

1. Picture Analysis Task Source: LEMA project, 2013

The situation

The next picture was taken in Strasbourg (France) in a meeting with

teachers.

Possible task

From what height is the photograph taken?

Page 19 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Shape Divisions

Page 20 of 37

Area Calculations

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

LEMA Project, 2013

In Germany many children get

advent calendars for Christmas.

They start on the 1st of December.

Every day until Christmas Eve

children can open one door and

find a piece of chocolate or a small

gift behind it. You can buy these calendars in the shop or sometimes children

make them themselves and their parents fill them.

In the picture you can see a Christmas calendar Nina wants to have. It is made

out of felt and has 24 bags to fill. The originality of this particular calendar is that

the bags get bigger until the 24th of December. As you can see the bag for the

December 1st is quite small, while the one for the 24th is quite big .

Page 21 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Possible tasks

How much felt will Nina need? Reflect on an appropriate size for the calendar and

think about how big the bags will be.

2013

Cut out the following square into 7 shapes:

Page 22 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

(a) a square from two triangles, and then change it to a parallelogram;

(b) a rectangle using three pieces, and then change it into a parallelogram;

(c) a trapezium with three pieces;

(d) a parallelogram with four pieces;

(e) a trapezium from the square, parallelogram and the two small triangles;

(f) a triangle with three pieces;

(g) a rectangle with all seven pieces.

Finally, put the pieces back together to form the original square.

Page 23 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

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Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

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Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

Page 26 of 37

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Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Task:

Obtain a 10 by 20 centimetre piece of grid paper. Cut a small square out of each

corner and fold the remainder into a box. What size cut-out square gives the

maximum volume for the box?

The major intention of the introduction is to invite each group to make a set of boxes and

have these on their table for inspection and analysis. Quickly demonstrate with one piece of

paper or cardboard, that if you cut a square out of each corner, the remainder can be folded

into a box.

Hand out 6 pieces of 10 x 20 centimetre grid paper to each group of 4 students. Ask each

group to make 6 'boxes' by cutting out squares of sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 cm from each

corner.

The square of 0 cm is just the original piece of paper and the cut-out of 5 cm gives no width.

Both are very worthwhile attempting to experience visually the zero volume, and the limits of

the problem.

2. Calculating volumes

Page 27 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Which box do you think holds the most? (i.e. has the greatest volume?)

I thought it was obvious that they varied, but in one class when I asked students to guess, a

surprising number thought they would all have the same volume since they all came from the

same piece of paper.

Another student claimed that the box with the smallest corner cut-out (i.e. the cut-out square

of length 1) would hold the most because that was the one with the most paper left.

Ask each group to calculate the height, length and width of each box and then to calculate the

volume.

Cut-out Square

Height

Length

Width

Volume

0

1

2

3

4

5

The grid lines on the paper made it easy for students to find the dimensions and hence

calculate the volume.

It also helped to have a few cubic centimetre blocks available to make the imagery of filling

the box (the volume) even more concrete.

The answers are:

Cut-out Square

Height

Length

Width

Volume

20

10

18

144

16

192

14

168

12

96

10

Page 28 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

A graph of the above table shows the volume initially increasing and then decreasing. The

main point to establish is that for some cut-out square there must be a maximum. So now the

lesson becomes the investigative search for this maximum.

The graph makes it look like the maximum is a square of 2cm. Do you think a

cut-out square of size 25 would give a different volume. Would this be the

maximum?

A calculator search

Ask students to extend their table to add the 25 cm square. The length width and height are

easy but a calculator may be desirable for the volume calculation.

Cut-out Square

25

Height

25

Length

15

Width

5

Volume

1875

It can now be seen this is not the maximum, but it is close and the experiment seeds the

thought that other sized cut-out squares could be tested.

Extending the calculator search

If a computer is not available, then a group sharing the labour of calculation can quickly work

out the volumes for squares of sizes 21 to 24.

Cut-out Square

Height

Length

Width

Volume

16

192

21

21

158

58

192444

22

22

156

56

192193

23

23

154

54

191268

24

24

152

52

189696

25

25

15

1875

Hence 21 now gives the greatest volume - and the calculator search could be extended to any

required degree of accuracy.

Page 29 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Recently, on the 25th of April, on 2006, the Spanish opposition party presented to the

congress 4,000,000 signatures against a new law promoted by the government.

All Spanish newspapers published pictures with the large boxes and the 10 vans

needed to transport the sheets of paper to the congress. Do you think there was

a political intention behind this staging or were all these boxes and vans really

necessary to carry the 400 0000 signatures ?

This gives some suggestions about how one might attempt to tackle the Tasks

contained in this module.

Try to calculate, approximately, the volume occupied by the sheets of paper that

contain the signatures. Assumptions have to be made about the number of

signatures per sheet and whether both sides of each sheet are used or not.

For instance: 10 signatures per sheet on one side only will require 4.000.000

10 = 400.000 sheets.

What is the volume occupied by this number of sheets of paper?

The typical box containing 2500 sheets of paper can be

used (measures are approximate):

31 cm x 23 cm x 25 cm = 25000 cm3 = 0,025 m3

That means that 400.000 2500 =

160 boxes are needed, occupying,

approximately: 160 x 0,025 = 4 m3

Finally, we need to know the capacity of each van.

This information can be found at a van rental webpage.

Consequently, a single van is enough to carry the signs to

the Congress.

Considering that a low estimate of the number of signatures per sheet of paper

has been made, it seems that 10 vans were not needed.

Page 30 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Investigation Sheet A

THE STRANGER WHO BROKE THE CAR WINDOW

It was a February heatwave. Michael Jones was driving to the shops with his six

months old son. He parked his car, grabbed the shopping list, looked at his son

who was now asleep and thought, I'll only be about twenty minutes, I won't

wake him, I'll leave him in the car. So he wound up all the windows, locked the

doors and went off to his shopping.

A little while later, on returning to the car he saw someone smashing in the side

window. He ran to the car. What do you think you are doing, he cried, trying to

steal my son?

Steal him, said the stranger, I'm trying to save his life!

Why did the stranger think the baby's life was endangered?

Was it really in danger?

If so, would Michael Jones have been unsafe in the car under

the same circumstances?

Page 31 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Mummy and Daddy are

just going into the shop

quickly. We'll lock the

doors so you'll be safe.

1. Getting started

Hand out investigation sheet A and allow time for the students to take in its messages.

"You may wonder why I chose to include this in our mathematics class. The

reason is that a mathematical principle is involved which some parents don't

understand. We will get to that soon, but firstly do you have any comments to

make about these media reports. For example, do you think the parents involved

were deliberately being cruel?"

This part of the lesson offers a good opportunity to discuss social issues surrounding the

problem. It can also be used as a launch-pad into cross-curricular activities regarding health

and safety issues.

Allow discussion to develop so that students feel they are able to express whatever they need

to say about these events. Issues which may come up are:

Page 32 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

leave a baby in a car

recognition that it can be either male or female parent who makes this

mistake

Draw discussion towards why a baby suffers in a way that adults would not. Experts tell us

that, it is more due to dehydration than excessive heat.

Experts tell us the problem for babies is not the heat, but rather that our bodies try to keep us

cool by evaporating moisture through our skin. The mathematical principle I mentioned

explains why this dehydration is more dangerous for a baby than an adult. It shows us that

there is an important difference between a baby and an adult.

Some of our year 10 classes have a program where they have to care for a life-like electronic

doll. They bring it to class and have to respond with parental care to its 'needs'. I always use

this lesson in conjunction with this program. It is one of our attempts at broadening our interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Give out nine wooden cubes to each pupil or pair. 2cm cubes are best.

"In trying to understand complex issues, mathematicians often create simplified

versions to explore and learn from. These are called mathematical models. To

understand this problem, let's start by representing the baby with one cube - not

a very good looking child I admit, but a starting point. I want you to build an

'adult' which is twice as big in all directions."

I like the way this lessons illustrates the purpose and power of a mathematical model.

Explain again that dehydration is moisture escaping through the surface of the skin.

Page 33 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Our model baby is one unit of volume. How many units of skin area does it have

through which moisture can escape?

... Six is correct...

Now see what you can find out about our model adult.

I found it more effective to keep the language simple and to avoid jargon such as surface area

to volume ratio, in favour of using student-generated language.

Recording measurements in a chart like this makes it clear that the 'baby' is at a disadvantage

compared to the 'adult'.

Surface

Area

Volume

Comparison

Baby

6 to 1

Adult

24

3 to 1

Baby: one unit of volume and six squares of surface through which

moisture can escape.

Adult: for each unit of volume there are three surfaces through which

moisture can escape.

Students can readily see, and express the fact that, in babies, for each unit of volume there is

twice as much surface area for evaporation.

3. Extending the model

An important aspect of modelling is to recognise the weaknesses in the assumptions and try

to improve the model.

But this is not a baby - and this is not an adult. So do you find the results

convincing?

How could we make a more realistic adult - will the same effect still be evident?

With more blocks, students can build more realistic baby and adult models. For example:

Students can create their own models, or use the example.

Calculate your volumes and surface areas to discover whether the baby is still at

a disadvantage.

Page 34 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

As students refined their models there was enormous discussion and considerable practise at

counting or calculating volume and surface area.

One pupil created a quite complicated baby and then commented:

I can see now why mothers cover a baby's head on a cold day. There is lots of area there for

heat loss.

4. Using real data

To refine the model further, one school considered each model to be a sphere connected to

cylinders and then collected real data. The 'real' measures needed for both adult and baby are:

cylinder

Sphere: V = 4/3 r S.A. = 4 r

Cylinder: V = rh S.A. = 2 rh + 2 r

Page 35 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

I think this was the first time I realised the importance of maths in context. As we curved

paper to make cylinders and discussed how to work out their volume, the introduction of the

formulas made much more sense to the kids.

Another school set the following as a homework research project.

Collecting Real Data

Calculate your own personal surface area to volume ratio and compare

it to that of a small child, perhaps the baby of a relative or friend.

Prepare a report of your findings.

The following information may be helpful.

Surface Area of the Human Body can be calculated approximately with

any of these methods:

method:

volume.

We were able to collect a few other relevant facts as part of our discussion. Things like one

kilogram of water is one litre of volume and humans are composed of about 84% water. That

added some meaning to the 0.9 rule.

It's funny how projects like this actually help you to notice things you have seen many times.

As a result of their investigations, my students realised that baby heads are proportionally

larger than adult heads. Then one of the kids brought along a cartoon from the paper which

showed a baby, and we realised that artists often make use of this fact.

One of our mums is a nurse and when she saw her child's assignment she informed us that the

'100 times' rule is used in burns units in hospitals to calculate the percentage of burnt skin.

Page 36 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

Trent Wardle

S00099220 2013

Design a poster for display in local community areas such as infant welfare

centres.

and toddlers in cars. This could involve making video, a slide show,

newspaper and radio advertisements and be the centre of a rich interdisciplinary study.

Investigate other 'rules' for caring for infants both from the folklore passed

down through generations and the messages from 'official' infant care

agencies.

Page 37 of 37

Geometry

Using units of measurement,

Year 9

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