Education Technology

Is It or Isn't It Proportional?

Published on 04/28/2009

Activity Overview

Students are expected to use multiple approaches (algebraic, graphical, and geometric methods) to solve real-life problems from a variety of disciplines. In this activity, students will examine data from various disciplines and determine whether the relationship is proportional or non-proportional. Students will then compare and contrast functions and graphs to determine characteristics of proportional relationships and characteristics of non-proportional relationships.

Before the Activity

Students should have experience with the TI-Nspire handheld prior to the activity. Since this is a discovery activity, only basic understanding of a proportion and of a linear function is necessary. Obtain a copy of or a short clip from "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" to engage the students in the activity.

During the Activity

For each situation, create a table using Lists and Spreadsheets. Create a graph from the data, then determine which situations may be described as a proportional linear relationship, and which situations are examples of non-proportional relationships. Describe unique characteristics of functions which describe proportional relations and describe unique characteristics of graphs of non-proportional relationships.