This lesson teaches students about direct variation by allowing them to explore a simulated oil spill using toilet paper tissues (to represent land) and drops of vegetable oil (to simulate a volume of oil). This lesson plan is based on the activity used by teacher Peggy Lynn in Part I of the Workshop 7 video.
One to two 50-minute periods
Students will be able to:
Describe the primary characteristics of a direct variation.
Explain why the relationship between the volume of oil and the area of land it covers represents a direct variation.
Recognize situations in other contexts that are direct variations (such as the relationship between circumference and diameter).
Give examples of real-world direct variations besides those studied in class.
Define direct variation and constant of proportionality.
Standards: Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2000: