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And You Thought Gasoline Was Expensive!

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Subjects

  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
    --Algebra
    --Arithmetic
    --Measurement
    --Process Skills
    --Statistics
  • Social Sciences
    --Economics

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

Students create charts comparing the cost of a gallon of gasoline to gallons of other liquids -- mouthwash, house paint, fruit juice, and white-out, for example.

Objectives

Students will

  • research the cost of a gallon of gasoline.
  • calculate the costs of gallons of a variety of liquids.
  • create charts showing the data they collect.
  • discuss the data.
  • use software or a free online tool to create graphs comparing the costs of a gallon of gasoline with that of five other liquids.

Keywords

calculate, COLA, cost of living, economics, equation, gallon, gasoline, inflation, liquid, measure, measurement, pint

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • ads from food, drug, auto parts, and/or home building supply stores
  • graph creation software or access to the online Create a Graph tool

Lesson Plan

Set Up the Activity:
Have your students considered that gasoline might be a bargain when compared with the price of other liquids they consume? Take bottled water, for example. A 16-ounce bottle of water costing $1.09 works out to $8.72 a gallon. That makes gasoline look like a real bargain!

Of course, buying a gallon of water is usually cheaper than buying eight 16-ounce bottles of water; but for the purpose of illustration, the bottled water example puts the cost of gasoline in perspective.

The Heart of the Lesson:
Students can do this activity individually or in small groups, in class or for homework. For an in-class activity, you might

  • Provide students with newspaper ads from food, drug, auto parts and/or home supply stores so they can price a gallon of a variety of liquids, such as fruit drinks, house paint, mouthwash, auto engine oil, perfume, white-out, and so on.
  • Have students create charts with four columns: Liquid Product, Cost of Item, Size (Volume) of Item, Price per Gallon.
  • In the first row of the charts, students record the cost of a gallon of gasoline. In the remaining rows, students enter the information gleaned from the ads for a variety of other liquids.
  • Next have students use the cost of each of the other products on the chart to calculate the cost for a gallon of the product. (With younger students, these calculations could be done as a whole-class activity.)

When they complete the activity, students should share the information they collected and discuss the cost of a gallon of gasoline relative to the cost of some other things they might purchase.

Extension Activity: Students can use the data they collect to create bar graphs providing a visual representation of the data. They can use art supplies, available software programs, or the free online Create a Graph tool to create the graph.

Assessment

Grade students' chart calculations on mathematical accuracy.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES 3-5
NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.3-5.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.6-8.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.9-12.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Algebra
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-ALG.3-5.1 Understand Patterns, Relations, and Functions
NM-ALG.3-5.3 Use Mathematical Models to Represent and Understand Quantitative Relationships
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-ALG.6-8.1 Understand Patterns, Relations, and Functions
NM-ALG.6-8.3 Use Mathematical Models to Represent and Understand Quantitative Relationships
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-ALG.9-12.1 Understand Patterns, Relations, and Functions
NM-ALG.9-12.3 Use Mathematical Models to Represent and Understand Quantitative Relationships

MATHEMATICS: Measurement
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

MATHEMATICS: Data Analysis and Probability
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-DATA.3-5.2 Select and Use Appropriate Statistical Methods to Analyze Data
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-DATA.6-8.2 Select and Use Appropriate Statistical Methods to Analyze Data
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-DATA.9-12.2 Select and Use Appropriate Statistical Methods to Analyze Data

MATHEMATICS: Problem Solving
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-PROB.PK-12.3 Apply and Adapt a Variety of Appropriate Strategies to Solve Problems

MATHEMATICS: Communications
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-COMM.PK-12.2 Communicate Their Mathematical Thinking Coherently and Clearly to Peers, Teachers, and Others

MATHEMATICS: Connections
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

MATHEMATICS: Representation
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics
GRADES K - 4
NSS-EC.K-4.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.K-4.11 Money
GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-EC.5-8.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.5-8.11 Money
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-EC.9-12.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.9-12.11 Money

TECHNOLOGY
GRADES K - 12
NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools

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