Lesson plan connects mantids to math

You may have noticed how slow mantids move. Their slow movement helps scientists study their behavior. Image: “Praying Mantis #2” by Flickr user disparkys. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

NCSSM Math instructor Donita Robinson saw an opportunity to teach math in observing mantids. Robinson knew that because mantids are slow and easy to keep track of, they are often used in biological studies. Utilizing real-world data from scientists who study mantid eating habits and movements, Robinson created activities where students use linear piecewise functions to create their own scatter plots and make predictions about mantid movements.    Since not all students will have access to mantids, Robinson worked with NCSSM multimedia designers and videographers to create an animated introduction explaining scientists’ research on mantids.   Robinson’s curriculum includes a teaching guide, interactive presentations, animated video and activities that allow students to practice the same math carried out by biological researchers in real-world scenarios. Robinson’s lesson plans are aligned to Math Common Core State Standards and work well for instructors teaching Math 1.     View Lesson Plans

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