Interesting Real Life Math Lessons

Keep your math class authentic and engaging with these real life math lessons from 2 Peas and a Dog. #math #mathlessons #reallifemath #lessonplans #teacherspayteachers

Real life math lessons are important to help students see the relevance of the lessons they are learning in class. Remember back to when you were in middle school? You were trying to be cool, thinking about the latest movie to come out, or what you might do with your friends on the weekend? Your nodding, right? Do you remember thinking back about some of your classes at that time? Thinking, when am I ever going to use this? It’s okay, I’m still nodding too.

The truth is, everyone wants what they are doing to be related to their own lives. In fact, your students may have asked: When will I ever use this in real life?

As teachers, we do such a great job of integrating real-life experiences and references in areas like Language Arts, Social Studies, and Art, that sometimes subjects like Mathematics are left to the boring math problems written in old textbooks.

It’s time to try something new and engaging for our students. Provide them with real-life math projects so your students won’t be asking how it relates to their lives, but will help them make connections to their own world and uncovering math in everyday life.

Try These Real Life Math Lessons

Unit Rate Math Project

Real life unit rate math project from 2 Peas and a Dog. #reallifemath #unitrate #math #lessonplans

Unless you are blessed with a live-in chef, you’ve likely had to follow a recipe at some point in your life. This is the best type of math: exercise your mind and enjoy something yummy! In this real life math assignment, students will budget out the best prices on ingredients to make some delicious fudge. Compare the prices of two grocery stores to plan your dessert, all while exploring Unit Rate and Decimals. Apply this lesson in real life and make your own batch of Chocolate Fudge using the provided recipe. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD

Assignment Includes:

  • Real Fudge Recipe
  • Unit Rate Worksheets
  • 4 Level Assessment Rubric
  • Answer Key

Cylinders, Surface Area, and Volume

Real life math projects from 2 Peas and a Dog. #mathlessonplans #reallifemath #math

Math in the real world isn’t all number sense. In this math assignment, students will explore measurement and geometry by determining the surface area of the room they would like to paint and figuring out the amount of paint to purchase based on the volume of the paint can. Build on the pricing skills from the previous task to figure out just how much this renovation will cost. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD

Real life math projects from 2 Peas and a Dog. #mathlessonplans #reallifemath #math

Assignment Includes:

  • Buying Paint Word Problem Sheet
  • Painting a Room Word Problem Sheet
  • Math Journal Reflection Sheet
  • 4 Level Assessment Rubric
  • Answer Key

Pythagorean Theorem Assignment

In this Pythagorean Theorem final project, students are asked to figure out the dimensions of the deck railings they have to build. Students will use their basic adding, subtraction, multiplication and division skills as well as decimals, perimeter, and Pythagorean Theorem to solve all the math questions in this package. Measurements are in metric units. Pythagorean Theorem is used in real life building, construction and design projects.

Assignment Includes:

  • Assignment Sheet
  • Pythagorean Theorem (metric) Project Sheets (Modified & Regular Versions)
  • Google Form Self Marking Versions (Modified & Regular Versions)
  • Google Slides Version
  • PDF Version
  • 4 Level Assessment Rubric
  • Points-Based Grading Sheet
  • Answer Key

Podcast Lessons

Math is not just found in baking or construction – real life math lessons can also be found being discussed on money-focused podcasts. I love using podcasts with students as they are short pieces of content and I select ones with engaging topics. Here are some suggested starting lessons for using podcasts in your math classroom.

Learn more about using podcasts in your classroom here.

I hope you have gotten some inspiration on how you can bring real-life math lessons into middle school math classroom.

Here are some other real life math lessons suggestions:

  1. Creating and sticking to a monthly budget: Keeping track of your finances is a key part of adult life, and math is essential for ensuring that you have money in your accounts.
  2. Comparing prices: It is important for students to learn that you can compare prices before you buy something to ensure you are getting the best deal. You can also work unit rates into this discussion. Show students how to use the Flipp app to find the best deals. 
  3. Estimating measurements: This is a skill used daily for tasks such as cooking, decorating, and gardening.
  4. Analyzing data and trends:  Students can learn to analyze data they collect as well as analyze charts and graphs they see in real life. It is important they learn to exercise discernment when reading published data and statistics. 
  5. Calculating tips: If students plan to eat out they need to know how to quickly calculate a tip using mental math. 
  6. Calculating distances: It is important to know how far a destination is and approximately how long it will take to get there.
  7. Cooking:  Measurements and ratios are an essential part of cooking.
  8. Making weather predictions: Math is needed to look at weather forecasts and decide if tomorrow is going to be a snow day. Have fun with your students using the website Snow Day Predictor.

Find More Math Inspiration & Lessons

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