Problem solving is one skill that has to be taught. If you think about it, we really want students who can problem solve, not memorize a whole bunch of facts or methods for doing something. No matter what problem is thrown at them in life we want students who can go through the process of breaking down the problem into pieces, figuring out the variables, and working through the problem to find a practical solution. All fields and industries require some level of problem solving. This lesson happens to be about cell phone plans since it is a problem that students can easily understand yet is more complex so even our brightest students will be challenged in figuring it out.
This case study comes with a description of the Martinez's family plan, multiple graphs of data usage, their cell phone bill, persuasive essay instructions, chart template for student data analysis, and a vocabulary definitions worksheet.