This activity has students model a linear equation using toothpicks. This guide walks them through how to create the pattern and has them determine how many toothpicks they need to add each time to continue the pattern. They complete a chart and also graph their results to see a straight line formed. Lastly, they are asked to reflect upon what they think it means for two quantities to have a linear relationship.
This guides them through:
1. Guided toothpick activity. Toothpicks not required, but recommended so students can manipulate them!
2. Two other real-world problems (one involving gym memberships, the other involving a cell phone plan)
3. A space for students to create their own real-world linear relationship example.
I had students do this in partners. However, as a guided whole group lesson would also be beneficial to have students predict how many toothpicks will be required.