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And You Thought Gasoline Was Expensive!

Subjects

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

• 3-5
• 6-8
• 9-12

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
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
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
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
NM-ALG.3-5.1 Understand Patterns, Relations, and Functions
NM-ALG.3-5.3 Use Mathematical Models to Represent and Understand Quantitative Relationships
NM-ALG.6-8.1 Understand Patterns, Relations, and Functions
NM-ALG.6-8.3 Use Mathematical Models to Represent and Understand Quantitative Relationships
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
NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

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

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

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

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

MATHEMATICS: Representation
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
NSS-EC.K-4.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.K-4.11 Money
NSS-EC.5-8.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.5-8.11 Money
NSS-EC.9-12.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.9-12.11 Money

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

See more math lessons at the Math Archive.