What's in a Line?

| Introduction | Task | Process |Evaluation | Conclusion | Teacher Resources |


Can a cricket be used as a thermometer? In fact yes, crickets vary the number of chirps they produce with the temperature. If I give you a linear equation to use and a cricket, you can then tell me the temperature. This is one way you could use an Algebra equation in real life. We will use information from real life situations and we will write linear equations to fit those real life situations.


We have studied solving and graphing linear equations. We have also studied the slope-intercept form of a line. Now we will visit the Internet and see how linear equations come up in real life.

You will work in groups. Your group will chose a real life situation to investigate. Some of you will compute the number of calories that you will burn dancing or golfing or running. Some of you will investigate car prices, maybe the cost of a TransAm or a Corvette. Others will investigate scores in the NBA or WNBA.

You will gather data, write an equation, draw a graph and collaborate to draw conclusions based on analysis of your data. You will also send e-mail to Dr. Math. All to see how linear equations are part of our daily life.

The Process

1.Get into your assigned group.

2.Choose a real life situation from those listed here:

               Burning Calories
               Buying Cars
               Basketball Statisitics

   3.Ask your teacher for the worksheet pertaining to the real life situation that your group has chosen to investigate. Each
     member of your group will need a copy of the worksheet.

   4.Click on one of these linked sites:    5.Each student needs to complete their worksheet using the data acquired from their chosen Internet site. You will need
     to complete parts of the worksheet individually and parts of it with the other students in your group. You may certainly
     ask each other for help as needed.

   6.Each group needs to e-mail one question to Dr. Math about a real life situation. (Your question needs to be approved
     by your teacher before it is mailed. You need to have your teacher's signature by this item on your worksheet.) Click
     on the following site when you have your question ready and approved, scroll down to the e-mail box and send your
     e-mail. You'll need to get your school's e-mail address from your teacher.

            Write to Dr. Math http://www.mirrors.org.sg/mathforum/dr.math/ask.html

   7.Each student will need to give an oral report in class describing one way they could use this information in their daily

The Evaluation

Your project will be evaluated on the following criteria:


You may still be wondering about those chirping crickets! If you would like to investigate with a cricket in your backyard,
here is an equation I found which will approximate that situation: y = 0.20x + 6 where x represents the number of chirps in a
minute and y represents the temperature in degrees Celsius.

I hope you had fun investigating these real life situations. Many people in many careers write equations and use them to
predict situations and to set their sales prices. Now, you have seen how linear equations are part of your daily life.

Teacher Resources

A teacher who uses this site will need to print out the worksheets listed below and have multiple copies of these worksheets
photocopied. You will need to either provide the students with graph paper or tell the students to bring their own graph
paper. And, you will need to provide the students with your school's e-mail address.

Here are some additional sites to use with your students for further investigations:

| Introduction | Task | Process |Evaluation | Conclusion | Teacher Resources |

 Please submit your answers.

Special thanks to Jane M. Brown