This seven page math project explains how to set up a fun and motivating Float Challenge for your students. The Float Challenge is designed to help students understand what a metric gram feels like. It is also a relatively inexpensive project, especially if you have metric mass weights.
Measurement is very abstract for young students. The amount of vocabulary that is embedded in the measurement Common Core State Standards is staggering. Along with most things in math, students need to see it, use it, or touch it in the real world to connect to these words. In this unit you give a mini lesson on grams, then ask students to build a flotation device to hold an amount of weight they specify. There is a competition/betting part to the lesson, which will definitely turn up the excitement!
All of my lessons and units are in the format of Jane Pollock’s GANAG method. This standards based lesson schema is for 21st century learners. This method is used to help teachers use a structure in their lessons that will give great results using formative assessment often.
This lesson is one day and contains one learning objective. It is aligned to the Common Core as well. It also touches on several of the Standards for Mathematical Practice. There is a step by step walkthrough with photos to help explain the challenge. There is a formative assessment included for the end of the lesson to assess which students need further instruction.
This math project could be used in the beginning of a school year (on the first day of school!), or as a full classroom project. It is a unit that differentiates naturally for different learners.