Education Technology

Math TODAY: Thirsty For Oil

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students will use the USA TODAY® Infograph 'Thirsty For Oil' to explore the area of a trapezoid and determine how to find area. Students will find the area of a parallelogram and use this to determine a formula for the area of a trapezoid. Applying the relationship to a real-world problem will help students understand how geometry is used to solve problems.

Before the Activity

Provide one graphing calculator for each student. Each student should have a copy of the corresponding student activity sheet. Provide each student with the following calculator file (AppVar) TRAP.

During the Activity

  • Have students link their calculators and share the AppVars as part of the class period on the previous day or during the beginning of the class period when you are going to use this activity.
  • Insure that Cabri Jr. and the calculator operating system have been updated to latest versions.
  • Review opening an AppVars using Cabri Jr. with your class before starting the activity.
  • Students can work individually or in groups to assist each other during the activity.
  • Have students discuss their discoveries while they work to better understand the relationships.
  • Before starting the AppVars, remind students to carefully read the opening screen and the activity pages.
  • After the Activity

  • Review student answers
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary