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Rotational Volumes with Discs

Guided Inquiry Lesson Plan

Description: In a Guided Inquiry (level 3) lesson, the teacher provides a question for
investigation as well as the necessary materials. Students develop the procedure to
investigate a teacher-selected question. In an Open Inquiry lesson, the teacher acts as the
facilitator, while students formulate a question they want to answer and the methods for the
investigation. The Guided and Open Inquiry lesson plan template includes text fields for
guiding questions, learning objectives, prior knowledge, introduction, investigate, analyze, and

Grade Level




Access Point (if applicable)

Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
Learning Objective:
What will the students
know and be able to do as
a result of this lesson?
What is the concept you
want the students to

Guiding Questions:
What are the guiding
questions for this lesson?
Provide specific amount of
directives to the student.
Prior Knowledge:
What prior knowledge
should students have for
this lesson?

4, Extended Thinking

Students will be able to understand how to compute the volumes of solids

formed by rotation of graphs through the methods of discs.

Students will be able to set up integrals to find the volumes of rotational

solids using methods of discs.

Students will be able to use method of discs to find the volumes of rotational
solids on actual applied problems involving actual objects with rotational

How do we find the volume of objects with rotational symmetry, but previous
mathematical knowledge is unequipped to handle?

How will the teacher
introduce the lesson to the

Students have knowledge of Riemann Sums, and Integration as the area

under the curve of a graph.
Students have knowledge of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, linking
anti-differentiation with area under the curve.
Students have knowledge of sigma notation, limits, and the idea of arbitrarily
small quantities.

Instructor shows students a water glass which has rotational symmetry, and asks
students how we might find the volume of this object using previously developed
ideas of integration.
Instructor asks students to think of other objects that previous mathematical
knowledge would not be able to find the volume of.
Guided inquiry questions:


On which axis does this glass have symmetry?

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What question(s) will

students be investigating?

What are the cross-sectional 2-D shapes that are symmetrical about this axis?
How does the radius of these shapes change as a function of height on the
Since we cannot add up 2-D areas and arrive at a volume, what 3-D volumes
can we add together to approximately or roughly find the volume of the glass?
(Instructor provides equation for the radius as a function of height) Could we
write a general formula, in terms of height, of the volume of these objects?
In what ways, could we use the ideas of calculus, those of Riemann Sums and
Integration, to find the precise volume of the glass, instead of an
Now using the above methods discussed, calculate the volume of our glass. I
have here a measuring cup and several bottles of watertest to see if your
calculated volume of water matches with the actual amount that fits in the
Is your calculation close to the actual value? What is your % error from the
measured value? Do you think there are any conceptual or computational
issues with your computation?
If your calculation is close, what factors may cause error in your calculation?

What process will students

follow to collect
information that can be
used to answer the
Debate, cross-examine,
rebuttal, devil's advocate.

How will students organize
and interpret the data
collected during the
What activity can the
students explore to make
the realization?

What will the teacher do to
bring the lesson to a close?
How will the students make
sense of the investigation?
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Students will discuss the concepts and ideas within their guided inquiry
groups. Students can inspect the object at any time during the lesson.
Students will justify, explain and collaborate to arrive at a conclusion.
Students will use previously learned mathematical methods and ideas as
scaffolding for this exercise. Students are to utilize the individual strengths of
group members including drawing diagrams, organization of written work, and
abstract reasoning.

Students will draw a diagram of the shapes they have found in the guided
inquiry questions and describe how this helps find the volume of the water
glass. All mathematical concepts will be written down in a cohesive way so
that the groups can present their conclusions to the class.

Teacher will summarize what was discovered, and propose extending the
concept to more complicated shapes. The calculation will be reviewed, and
the amount of water in the glass will be shown to agree with actual

Teaching the New Standards
Describe how to
accommodate students with
special needs and how to
differentiate instruction.

Describe possible extension
of this lesson.
Extend and evaluate:
- Homework
- Individual Activity
- Review
- Assessment

Flexible grouping strategies allow students with special needs, including ELD students
to be able to be successful in this guided inquiry group collaboration lesson. Group
structure should be such that all students can contribute to discussion, and benefit from
group interactions. Differing amounts of scaffolding for these questions can be
provided individually to each group to differentiate instruction.

HomeworkComputation of the volumes of objects with rotational solids using the

method of discs.
Assessment- Quiz on computation of the volumes of objects with rotational solids using
the method of discs.
Individualized activityFind an object at home which has rotational symmetry and
approximate its volume using the method of discs.

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