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TeachNet 2008 Grant Winner       << Back to all Grant Winners
STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE (A MATHEMATICAL HEALTH PROJECT)

Subject:MATH - ALGEBRA

Grade Level: 9

Materials: See Below

About: Students estimate the calories in various physical activities. They estimate the lung volume for their own height and age, and find their blood pressure using a monitor and understand whether it is normal. By doing research, the students find out the details and benefits of reducing high blood pressure. They also calculate their BMI (Body Mass Index)and understand what their weight should be in order to lead a healthy life.

When a person exercises, the number of calories burned is roughly proportional to that person's weight. The students estimate the calories that they burn in various physical activities. They learn the benefits of exercise on one's physical and emotional heath, including managing weight and keeping blood pressure at a normal level.

By doing research, the students better understand the various lifestyle changes necessary to maintain a healthy blood pressure. They search the Internet and answer questions in the worksheets. The students decide which physical activities to perform by interviewing the physical education coach or the school doctor or nurse.

Since it is a health-related topic, this is useful to everyone. Both students and teachers will benefit. To measure weight and blood pressure, the teachers can use the actual monitors. This will provide information and generate interest in the topic. The worksheets for each day's activities are useful in making the students do this project in a systematic way.

 Objectives
Solving the proportion problems.
Estimating the number of calories that each person burns in different activities.
Finding the value of an expression by substituting the values for the variables.
Solving the given expression for the required variable.
Drawing the graph of age vs. lung volume.
Estimating normal systolic blood pressure.
Researching lifestyle changes that can help reduce high blood pressure.
Understanding and solving the inequalities.
Finding the target range for pulse rate R.
Knowing the benefits of physical activities.

Websites
The article in this weblink stresses the importance of the physical education in our school system for development of the student both physically and mentally, healthwise and academically.
http://gothamgazette.com/article/education/20080305/6/2453
This link gives seven benefits of regular physical activity.
http://mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676
This link provides a guide to physical activity. It provides a variety of activities and the minimum time needed in order to get optimum results.
http://nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/phy_act.htm
This website contains a PowerPoint presentation with facts about staying physically fit, especially for women.
http://pcna.net/library/tellafriendslides.ppt#354,1,Slide 1
This website provides important lifestyle changes to help control high blood pressure.
http://mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027
This website provides information about improving blood pressure.
http://webmd.com/content/article/64/72504.htm
This weblink provides the facility to calculate body mass index.
http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmicalc.htm
This site contains body mass index chart.
http://whathealth.com/bmi/chart-imperial.html

Standards
Students draw conclusions about mathematical ideas through decoding, comprehension, and interpretation of mathematical visuals, symbols, and technical writing.
9
Math
Students recognize and apply mathematics to real-world situations.
9
Math
Students use physical objects, diagrams, charts, tables, graphs, symbols, equations, or objects created using technology as representations of mathematical concepts.
9
Math
Students solve algebraic problems arising from situations that involve fractions, decimals, percents (decrease/increase and discount), and proportionality/direct variation.
9
Math
Students write algebraic equations or inequalities that represent a situation.
9
Math
Students solve literal equations for a given variable.
9
Math
Students solve linear inequalities in one variable.
9
Math

Day 1: Estimating calories in physical activities
Objectives
Students solve the proportion problems.
Students estimate the number of calories that each person burns in different activities.
Students recognize the different physical activities.
Students solve the unknown variable if three of the variables are given with the values.
Materials
Worksheets
calculators
OHP and transparencies
Scale
Procedures
When a person exercises, the number of calories the person burns is roughly proportional to that person's weight: C=k W ; that is, C 1 / W1 = C 2 / W2. From this we can calculate C2 if we know c1, w1, and w2.
Worksheet: the weight of a person is 150 pounds and the calories the person burns in different activities are given in the table. The student has to measure his weight on the scale.
The student estimates the number of calories he burns in each activity in 60 minutes of time.
Using the second table, the students estimate the total calories burned in 60 minutes each time and three times a week.
Homework
The student is given other physical activities and the calories burnt in 60 minutes by a 150-pound person and must estimate the number of calories that he/she burns when doing the same activity.
Assessment
Students are assessed by their classwork and activities.

Day 2: Estimation of Lung Volume
Objectives
Finding the value of an expression by substituting the values for the variables.
Solving the given expression for the required variable.
Preparation of the table of values to draw a graph.
Drawing the graph of age vs. lung volume.
Materials
Work sheets
Calculators
Height scale on the wall
Graph papers
Procedures
With the height (h) in inches and age (a) in years, the lung volume of a person can be estimated using the formula V = 0.104h – 0.018a – 2.69. Then 90% of the lung volume will be calculated.
The formula for age a can be solved as a = (0.104h – V– 2.69)/ 0.018. Again, the age can be estimated using this formula.
The age versus lung volume table can be prepared.
The age versus lung volume graph can be drawn for the current height h.
Homework
A work sheet on solving for variables in a given expression can be done as homework.
Assessment
Students are assessed by their classwork and activities.

Day 3: Find Out by Researching
Objectives
Estimating the normal systolic blood pressure.
Researching lifestyle changes that can help reduce high blood pressure.
Exploring the Internet.
Understanding the inequalities.
Materials
Blood pressure monitor
Computers with Internet access
Work sheets
Procedures
The teacher trains one or two students to measure blood pressure using the blood pressure monitor.
The volunteer students take the blood pressure of every student. Blood pressure can also be estimated using the formula given in the worksheet.
The students explore the Internet for various lifestyle changes that can help reduce high blood pressure.
The students complete the work sheet by writing down the lifestyle changes that are discussed in class.
The teacher provides the some of the following weblinks: http://mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027 http://webmd.com/content/article/64/72504.htm
Homework
Students explore the Internet for more websites with information on controlling blood pressure, and complete the worksheet of inequalities.
Assessment
Students are assessed by the research they do and their understanding of solving the inequalities.

Day 4: Find Out by Writing
Objectives
Understanding the inequalities.
Solving the inequalities.
Finding the target range for pulse rate R based on age a while jogging.
Understanding the importance of seeing a doctor before starting an exercise program.
Materials
Worksheets
Calculators
Pulse rate monitor
Procedures
Ask the student to find the target range for the pulse rate R based on his/her age using the compound inequality 0.7(220 – a ) < R < 0.85 ( 220 – a ).
Checking the pulse rate using the monitor and verifying whether it is in the target range.
Homework
Why should we see a doctor before starting an exercise program? Completing the work sheet on inequalities.
Assessment
Students are assessed via classwork and homework assignments.

Day 5: Know What Your Weight Should Be!
Objectives
Knowing the benefits of physical activities.
Understanding the importance of physical education.
Understanding the height/weight relationship and healthy weight range through BMI.
Interviewing a coach to know facts about the exercises to do and to burn the number of calories.
Interviewing a doctor or nurse to know facts about the exercises to do and to burn the number of calories.
Materials
Worksheets
Calculators
Computers with Internet access
Weight and height scale
Procedures
The teacher shows the website http://gothamgazette.com/article/education/20080305/6/2453 and explains the importance of the physical education.
The teacher shows the website http://mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676 and explains the benefits of regular physical activity. The student has to answer the question given in the work sheet.
The teacher shows the website http://nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/phy_act.htm and explains about various physical activities. The students answer the question given in the work sheet.
The teacher arranges the students to measure their heights and weights using scales. They find their body mass index using the calculator in the website: http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmicalc.htm Then the students complete the worksheet Know What Your Weight Should Be. The students understand what they should do in order to maintain a healthy weight.
The teacher directs the students to do interview with a physical education instructor and with school doctor/ nurse and to get the information that is required as shown in the worksheets.
The next day the student has to submit the completed worksheets stating the details of the exercises that they have to do along with the time and the calories they burn by doing the particular exercise.
Homework
The students to explore the Internet to collect information on the benefits of physical activity and submit a report on physical education.
Assessment
Students are assessed via their final report, as well as their overall grasp of project objectives, as demonstrated through daily class activities and homework.

 

Chandrasekhar Anumapuram

canumapuram@yahoo.com

Academy of Environmental Science
410 East 100th Street
New York, NY 10029

Chandrasekhar Anumapuram has been teaching for 21 years. He currently teaches Math B and Math Projects at Academy of Environmental Science Secondary High School in New York City. His top priority is effectively using the computer and technology in teaching mathematics. His goal is to show students that mathematics is everywhere in daily life and that everyday problems can be solved with simple math concepts and formulas.


Important documents for this lesson plan.

DAY-1 DOCS(4).doc
DAY-2 DOCS(5).doc
DAY-3 DOCS(2).doc
DAY-4 DOCS(2).doc
DAY-5 DOCS(7).doc

 

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