The Exponential Growth and Decay Real Estate Value Project is an excellent cross-curricular project that melds Math and Social Studies and requires critical thinking and problem solving skills. The premise is this: Imagine that every two-term President of the past 40 years bought a "getaway house" on the day they took office. What would that house have been worth when they left office eight years later?
Using national GDP in lieu of real estate inflation records which are never nationally consistent historically (but GDP is,) students will calculate the value of each President's "getaway house" two different ways. First, they will manually calculate the value of each house using each year's GDP percentage rate. Secondly, they will use the average GDP percentage rate in the exponential growth formula to gauge the accuracy of the first and to settle any discrepancies.
Using real estate values during a President's term opens itself to questions that cross subjects, allowing students to explore what they've found mathematically, fiscally, and economically (and Presidentially?) A one page reflection paper is required to explore these questions (and include a third subject into the project.) One of my favorites!!