Linear Progression using a Slinky and Candy

This is an excellent lesson plan in which students will collect data, make a table of values, scatter plot, line of best fit, analyze slope and intercept, and answer higher order thinking questions relating to the activity. Students will use a slinky as a scale and measure the "weight" of candy pieces to complete the aforementioned tasks. This lesson plan uses small groups to complete the tasks. For a class that is not leveled, placing lower ability students with higher ability students is highly recommended.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.B.7
Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q and x are all...
CCSS.Math.Content.7.RP.A.2
Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
CCSS.Math.Content.8.EE.B.5
Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships...
CCSS.Math.Content.8.EE.B.6
Use similar triangles to explain why the slope m is the same between any two distinct points on a non-vertical line in the coordinate plane; derive...
CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.A.1
Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting...
CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.A.2
Compare properties of two functions each represented in a different way (algebraically, graphically, numerically in tables, or by verbal...
CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.A.3
Interpret the equation y = mx + b as defining a linear function, whose graph is a straight line; give examples of functions that are not linear. For...
CCSS.Math.Content.8.SP.A.1
Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe...
CCSS.Math.Content.8.SP.A.3
Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept. For...
GLE 0006.5.1
Sort objects and use one or more attributes to solve problems.
GLE 0606.3.4
Use expressions, equations and formulas to solve problems.
GLE 0606.3.5
Use multiple representations including symbolic algebra to model and/or solve contextual problems that involve linear relationships.
GLE 0701.2.3
Identify the thesis and main points of a speech.
GLE 0706.1.1
Use mathematical language, symbols, and definitions while developing mathematical reasoning.
GLE 0706.2.3
Develop an understanding of and apply proportionality.
GLE 0706.3.2
Understand and compare various representations of relations and functions.
GLE 0706.3.3
Understand the concept of function as a rule that assigns to a given input one and only one number (the output).
GLE 0706.3.5
Understand and graph proportional relationships.
GLE 0706.3.6
Conceptualize the meanings of slope using various interpretations, representations, and contexts.
GLE 0806.3.4
Translate among verbal, tabular, graphical and algebraic representations of linear functions.
GLE 0806.5.2
Select, create, and use appropriate graphical representations of data (including scatterplots with lines of best fit) to make and test conjectures.
SPI 0506.3.3
Find the unknown in single-step equations involving fractions and mixed numbers.
SPI 0606.3.3
Write equations that correspond to given situations or represent a given mathematical relationship.
SPI 0706.1.3
Recognize whether information given in a table, graph, or formula suggests a directly proportional, linear, inversely proportional, or other nonlinear relationship.
SPI 0706.3.2
Determine whether a relation (represented in various ways) is a function.
SPI 0706.3.4
Interpret the slope of a line as a unit rate given the graph of a proportional relationship.
SPI 0706.3.5
Represent proportional relationships with equations, tables and graphs.
SPI 0806.1.3
Calculates rates involving cost per unit to determine the best buy.
SPI 0806.3.4
Translate between various representations of a linear function.
SPI 0806.3.7
Identify, compare and contrast functions as linear or nonlinear.
SPI 0806.5.3
Generalize the relationship between two sets of data using scatterplots and lines of best fit.
TSS.Math.6.EE.B.7
Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving onestep equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q, and x are all...
TSS.Math.7.RP.A.2
Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
TSS.Math.8.EE.B.5
Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in...
TSS.Math.8.EE.B.6
Use similar triangles to explain why the slope m is the same between any two distinct points on a non-vertical line in the coordinate plane; know and derive...
TSS.Math.8.F.A.1
Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an...
TSS.Math.8.F.A.2
Compare properties of two functions each represented in a different way (algebraically, graphically, numerically in tables, or by verbal descriptions).
TSS.Math.8.F.A.3
Know and interpret the equation y = mx + b as defining a linear function, whose graph is a straight line; give examples of functions that are not linear.
TSS.Math.8.SP.A.1
Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such...
TSS.Math.8.SP.A.3
Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept. For example, in a...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Upon completion of this lesson, students will learn about slope, y-intercepts, linear progressions and the slope-intercept form of an equation of a line.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Differentiation suggestions: 

Have the LD teacher present when dealing with students who may need the extra help. I would also pair weaker students with the stronger students who have the ability to explain several concepts.

Helpful Hints

Materials/ Equipment:
Slinky (cut into 4 equal parts), wire cutter, M&Ms (or other candy that is about the same size and weight), another type of weight (heavier candy or dimes), two meter sticks or yardsticks per group, small cup (I used the containers that holds a roll of film), wire, masking tape, graph paper, looseleaf paper (for notes and to record information), straight edge, pencils, graphing calculators, ClarisWorks or Microsoft Word.

References

Contributors: