A Recipe For Success
by Roger C. Henderson
Boise State University
One 45-minute class period
Subject Matter: Mathematics
This is an interactive, media enhanced lesson that
requires students to examine ratios and proportions. The primary goal
is to develop connections between math and real-world situations. Through
the use of video, students will explore a relevant application of ratios
and proportions. Using the internet, students will apply this concept
through guided practice and interactive feedback. Students will then make
connections to other real-world examples by applying this knowledge to
similar problems in other areas. This lesson incorporates mathematical
skills, reading, and writing in an interdisciplinary format.
Students will be able to:
- Apply equivalent ratios
- Apply scaling to ratios and proportions
- Apply ratios and proportions in real-life situations
(From National Council of Teachers of Mathematics grades K-12)
I: Numbers and Operations
- Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships
among numbers, and number systems.
- Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.
- Select appropriate methods and tools for computing with
fractions and decimals from among mental computation, estimation, calculators
or computers, and paper and pencil, depending on the situation, and
apply the selected methods
- Develop, analyze, and explain methods for solving problems
involving proportions, such as scaling and finding equivalent ratios.
- Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other
- Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve
- Communicate mathematical thinking.
- Recognize and use connections among mathematical
- Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build
on one another to produce a coherent whole.
- Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
Media Components :
Cyberchase: For Real, "A Battle of Equals"
The trailing segments to Cyberchase called Cyberchase: For Real present
real-world applications for mathematics. This segment addresses converting
a recipe for popcorn balls.
Allrecipes is a community-based recipe and meal planning web site on the
internet. The site offers food ideas and resources including recipes,
menu ideas, meal preparation tips, special diet content, culinary ware
and news. A key aspect of the site is that it has a conversion feature
that allows users to convert recipes for different serving sizes. The
site has an area for kids that has desert recipes - for example, there
is a recipe for a smack mix called "Puppy Chow" that can be found at:
- Overhead projector
Per Group of 3-4 Students
- Computer with internet connection
Prep For Teachers
- Bookmark the web site listed in Media Components.
Make sure that the link is current and that the recipe conversion feature
is still available. Search the kids' recipes and select 2 recipes for
- Make copies of the worksheet to distribute. One worksheet
per 3 students.
- Review the lesson plan. Pay particular attention to the sections
containing Focus for Media Interaction. These sections contain specific
tasks for students to complete and/or information to identify during
or after viewing of video elements, web sites or other multimedia elements.
This "warm-up" activity is used to gain student interest.
The activity is a group discussion to review the concepts of ratios and
:Get the students involved by asking the following questions:
- "By a show of hands, how many of you enjoy cooking?"
- If limited response, try "Again by a show of hands, how
many of you enjoy eating?"
The teacher then explains, "Cooking commonly uses math." Expand on this
idea with the following questions:"
- Do you know what a recipe is?"
- State with a bit of humor - "You are all very
close. However, to be precise a recipe is a list of materials and directions
that describes the proper approach for combining ratios of ingredients
in the proper proportions."
Review the concepts of ratios and proportions.
- "Do you recall what a ratio is?"
- "A ratio is a comparison of 2 or more numbers."
- "Do you remember what a proportion is?"
- "A proportion is an equation formed by
the equivalence of two (or more) ratios."
Explain the objective of the lesson. "Through today's lesson, we will
apply mathematics to our intuition and experience in a real-world example
- recipe conversions."
.To provide students with a specific task to complete while viewing,
give them a Focus for Media Interaction by asking students to watch
and listen for the scenario in the video that can be represented mathematically.
Tell students to write an equation for the recipe in the video.
START the video at the beginning of the "For Real" segment. You
should see 2 girls walking down a sidewalk carrying some groceries.
PAUSE the video after the older girl says "…equals 40 popcorn balls."
She says this after she writes the recipe down. The teacher now asks the
class if they have the recipe written down. The teacher should write (or
display) the recipe on the overhead projector or board.
Provide a Focus for Media Interaction by asking students to watch
for how the characters decide to modify the recipe. Tell the students
to think of other possible ways that the recipe could be modified. Tell
the students to think of the recipe in mathematical terms. When the students
are ready, RESUME PLAY.
PAUSE the video after the older girl says "we just need to multiply
all of the ingredients by 10." The teacher should ask the class "does
this seem like a reasonable way to modify the recipe?" Have the students
work through converting the recipe to 400 popcorn balls. Once the students
have had a chance to work the example, RESUME PLAY and finish the
segment. When the older girl says "I hate popcorn," STOP.
Note to Teacher: Students will
turn in the work from the Culminating Activity as part of their
Assessment of this lesson.
Divide students into groups of three based around a computer with internet
Pass out a worksheet to each group.
Step 3: Students should complete the first
part of the worksheet. When they are finished with the first part of the
worksheet, the students should access the bookmarked page.
Step 4: Demonstrate the use of the recipe
conversion feature of the site. Have the students compare their answers
to the first part of the worksheet with conversions of the recipe for
Step 5: Draw closure to the lesson by reviewing
the concepts of ratios and proportions and how they relate to recipes.
· "A ratio is a comparison of 2 or more numbers. A recipe is an example
of a ratio. The quantities of ingredients in a recipe could be written
as a ratio."
· "A proportion is an equation formed by the equivalence of two (or more)
ratios. A recipe can be increased or decreased by multiplication or division.
The proportion of servings and ingredients should remain similar."
Step 6: For the remainder of the lesson the
students continue working in groups to finish the worksheet.
Explore demographics throughout the U.S. and the world. Based on historical
trends predict how the population will change over the next 10 years.
What ratios are expected to increase? What ratios are expected to decrease?
Scale and proportion can be explored in detail through art. Explore how
proportion has been used to mirror an image. Explore how proportion and
scale has been used to distort and create images. Create a piece of art
that is scaled up or down in only one dimension.
Apply ratios and proportions to mixing chemicals in a science lab.
- Ask a local artist to come and discuss with the
class how he or she uses ratios and proportions in art. For example,
mixing of colors or creating objects to scale.
- Invite an architect or contractor to discuss
how scale is used in creating or using building plans.
- Talk to the professionals in your cafeteria.
Have someone explain the process of menu planning. Ask the professionals
how they adjust recipes for the school.