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        4-8, 13+

        Permitted Use

        Part of Cyberchase
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        From Patterns of Input and Output to Algebraic Equations

        Students explore the relationship between input and output values and learn to use algebraic expressions and equations.

        Lesson Summary


        In this Cyberchase activity, students watch a video clip in which Hacker creates a cyberfrog with numeric buttons that produce different numbers of hops. The relationship between input and output values is used to teach students how to use algebraic expressions and, subsequently, equations.

        Why is this an important concept?

        To anticipate the idea of functions, students learn to discern patterns based on input and output values and they see that the same input consistently produces the same output. They learn to describe the patterns in both words and symbols.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        1 hour

        Media Resources

        Frog Hops, Part 1 QuickTime Video
        Frog Hops, Part 2QuickTime Video


        Handout: Algebraic Expressions and Equations
        Assessment: Level A
        Assessment: Level B
        Answer Key

        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Read the following to your students: "Hacker once again attempts to infiltrate Motherboard, this time by creating a cyberfrog with numeric buttons that produce certain patterns of hops. As you watch the video clips you will see two different patterns. On a piece of paper write down a sentence that describes the relationship between the input and the output for each of the two patterns."

        2. Play Frog Hops, Part 1 QuickTime Video and Frog Hops, Part 2 QuickTime Video.

        3. Discuss students' descriptions of the patterns demonstrated in the two video segments.

        4. Distribute Handout: Algebraic Expressions and Equations.

        5. Ask students to complete the handout.

        6. Discuss student answers to the handout.

        Part II: Assessment

        Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students are asked to translate written phrases to algebraic expressions and equations. Students then use their algebraic equation to extrapolate for a large input value.

        Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students are asked to solve new algebraic relationships in which the input values are not consecutive integers.


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