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Teacher Lesson Plans Archive

Mathematics

TITLE: Coke vs. Pepsi

GRADE LEVEL: 8

AUTHOR: Ms Susan M. Stratman

SCHOOL: Fulton Junior High School

DISTRICT: MSD Wayne Township, Indianapolis, IN

APPROPRIATE GROUP SIZE(S):

TIME REQUIRED: 2 Periods

OBJECTIVES:

The students will:

  1. find and compare the surface areas of two different rectangular prisms with equal volumes.
  2. discuss the environmental impact of different types of packaging.
  3. communicate their ideas and findings in business letters.

INDIANA STATE PROFICIENCIES:

MATERIALS and RESOURCES:

PREPARATION:

  1. The teacher will ask the students in advance to bring in empty 24-can cases of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products.
  2. The teacher will provide instruction on the calculation of surface area. Rectangular prisms are good examples to use to teach the concepts of calculating surface area and volume.
  3. STUDENT INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. The teacher will divide students into small groups, and will provide each group with a meter stick or a yard stick and an empty case from each of the soft drink companies.
    2. Compare the volumes of the two boxes without measuring. (How many 12-ounce cans will each box hold?)
    3. In small groups, use a meter stick or a yard stick to measure the length, width, and height of each box.
    4. Calculate the surface area of each box.
    5. Compare the surface areas of the Pepsi box to that of the Coca-Cola box. (Which one uses more cardboard?)
    6. Discuss in class the environmental impact of the two different types of cardboard boxes. (Which one is better for the environment?)
    7. Use their websites to find out more information about the companies, such as their mailing and e-mail addresses.
    8. Using a proper business letter format, e-mail or write a letter to one of the companies, describing the classroom activities, the surface areas of the two boxes, the environmental impact of different kinds of packaging, and suggestions for the future.

    STUDENT ASSESSMENT:

    1. Each student will be responsible for participation in the small group activity (measuring).
    2. Each student will be responsible for the computations used to find the surface areas of the boxes.
    3. Each student will be responsible for participation in the whole class activity (discussion).
    4. Each student will be responsible for a letter written to one of the soft drink companies.

    EXTENSIONS:

    TEACHER NOTES:


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