Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sample lessons

From Radical Math (all pdf, sorry):

Bar graphs:
Comparing disparities in incarceration rates

Based on this graph, which racial group makes up the largest percent of the total U.S. population? Approximately what percent is this?

Which racial group makes up the largest percentage of people currently incarcerated?

In your opinion, what does this graph tell us about race and incarceration rates in this country? Why do you think this is the situation?
Comparing and understanding the casualties in Iraq over a 1-year period

First, imagine you work for the army, and you need to put out a press release that states the average number of soldiers killed per month. What number would you choose as your average? Explain how you got this number, and why you chose this as your method.

Next, imagine you are working for an Anti-war organization, and you need to put out a press release that states the average number of soldiers killed per month. What number would you choose as your average? Explain how you got this number, and why you chose this as your method.
Basic math concepts:
The cost of war in Iraq: How does it affect my community?

This activity allows students to investigate the cost of the war in Iraq and compare it with the cost of addressing both local and global problems. The goals are for students to understand how much money is being spent on the war, gain mathematical literacy, and conduct internet research so that they can educate themselves about the war.
A data-processing lesson for statistics about AIDS: Reading a graph or chart

Students will work on describing the scope of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by extracting data from a table. They will also work to make comparisons and draw conclusions from the data. This document also contains a social studies lesson about AIDS.
Various categories:

Measuring water with justice

Students in the group working on who has access to clean water were among the most startled. Reading the book For Every Child: The U.N. Convention on Rights of the Child in Words and Pictures and a selection from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they found that access to clean water is considered a human right by various international conventions. They were surprised that despite this, 18 percent or 1.1 billion people don't have access to clean water. Using data from the UNICEF website they wrote, "Every day 5,000 kids die because of dirty water and poor sanitation — that means 242,000 kids die in a year because of water." Using the book What's a Million? they wrote, "Over one billion people don't have clean water in their house. Can you imagine how many zeros one billion has? One billion has nine zeros! If you started counting to one billion it would take you 95 years


Fast food maps

This "Google Mash-up" website allows you to map fast food restaurants anywhere in the US.

Hurricane Katrina resource maps

These maps were prepared for selected areas in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. They contain data on poverty, race, age, education, and other demographic categories for different counties, cities, and states that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Building a community garden and a math community

This is a geometry unit that gets students involved in community gardens to learn about the practical applications of perimeter, area, similarity, and more. Students will also develop a deeper understanding of issues including hunger and poverty.

Graffiti graphing

Several similar units that utilize an online simulation of learning about graphing, angles, rotation, and other geometric concepts through creating computerized "graffiti" letters.

Mean, median, mode:
Negotiating a fair wage increase for unions
Net worth:
Being black, living in the red

[D]emonstrates that many differences between blacks and whites stem not from race but from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. Property ownership--as measured by net worth--reflects this legacy of economic oppression. The racial discrepancy in wealth holdings leads to advantages for whites in the form of better schools, more desirable residences, higher wages, and more opportunities to save, invest, and thereby further their economic advantages.
Math, SATs and racial profiling

The author writes about how he and his students have used technology to investigate racial profiling and to analyze the relationship of family income level to scores on standardized tests.
How class works: an interactive exploration

From the NY Times' "Class Matters" section, this interactive, multimedia website is divided into four very user-friendly topics: Components of Class, How Class Breaks Down, Income Mobility, and A Nationwide Poll.
Attempting to connect anti-capitalist work with mathematics education

Pinochet’s regime measured malnutrition in relation to a person’s weight and height, in contrast to the usual comparison of weight and age. This talk will explore the connections between understanding the outrageousness of collecting such statistics, and acting to change the outrageousness of such situations.
It's outrageous, all right.

Update: Take a gander at NYCoRE's (New York Collective of Radical Educators) Katrina curriculum (yes, pdf).

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