Modeling: Making Matchsticks
This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to:
- Interpret a situation and represent the variables mathematically.
- Select appropriate mathematical methods.
- Interpret and evaluate the data generated.
- Communicate their reasoning clearly.
- Before the lesson, students tackle the problem individually. You assess their responses and formulate questions that will prompt them to review their work.
- At the start of the lesson, students respond individually to the questions set, and then work in groups to combine their thinking and produce a collaborative solution in the form of a poster.
- In the same small groups, students evaluate and comment on some sample responses. They identify the strengths and mistakes in these responses and compare them with their own work.
- In a whole-class discussion, students explain and compare the solution strategies they have seen and used.
- In a follow-up lesson, students reflect on their work and their learning.
- Each student will need a calculator, a copy of Making Matchsticks, a copy of the Formula Sheet, a blank sheet of paper, and a copy of the How Did You Work? questionnaire.
- Each small group of students will need a large sheet of paper for making a poster, felt-tipped pens, and copies of Sample Responses to Discuss.
- There is a projector resource to help you with whole-class discussions.
15 minutes before the lesson, a 90-minute lesson (or split into two shorter lessons), and 15 minutes in a follow-up lesson. Timings given are only approximate. Exact timings will depend on the needs of the class.
This lesson involves a range of mathematical practices from the standards, with emphasis on:
- MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- MP4: Model with mathematics
- MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically
- MP6: Attend to precision
Mathematical Content Standards
This lesson asks students to select and apply mathematical content from across the grades, including the content standards: