As part of our study of proportions, 6C did an activity by Dan Meyer called Sugar Packets. They watched this video and had to figure out how many packets of sugar are in a bottle of Coca Cola.
We extended this activity to other beverages. They predicted which beverages had the most sugar and the least amount of sugar. They recognized that the sugar content could not be compared if the volumes of the beverages were different, so they made unit rates of sugar to volume so they could compare like amounts. Many students were surprised by the sugar content of some of their favorite beverages.
The last phase of this activity had the class take a point of view and promote one beverage based on its sugar content over other possible beverages. The students had the freedom to pick which point of view they wanted to promote, but they had to use the math to support their claims.
These are a sampling of some of the more creative and unique posters that were created. I was impressed with the class' use of humor and puns to catch people's attention. There were a few new ideas that made us think. I have never had anyone compare the sugar content of different milks. The comparison of different waters was a new spin on this project.
I really like this activity because it forces students to think about how proportions can be used to compare different items. I like adding the dimension of having a point of view and supporting it with numbers. It helps to dispell the idea that numbers to not lie and that data can not be manipulated if it is numerical. It provides an opportunity for students to look critically at how numbers and data are used to express a point of view and how they can be used to manipulate how you see something. This project is an opportunity to practice clear communication and sharing of ideas.