Students are introduced to percents as a means to compare fractions with unlike denominators. They are asked to compare fractions with unlike denominators (10th's, 20th's, 25th's) by using 100th's, then changing these to percents, and ordering the percents and fractions by size. The activity is motivated by a CYBERCHASE episode in which there are two challenges: the first is a jumping competition in which each competitor jumps a different number of jumps aiming to reach a target; the second requires them to find a crystal whose color percentage is between 65% and 80%.
Part I: Learning Activity
2. Read the following: The CyberSquad is trapped on a planet by Hacker, along with Squitters, cute little creatures who love to jump. To escape from their prison, the Squitters need to climb through a small hole, then jump to hit a button that releases the CyberSquad and Digit. The Squitters turn this into a contest among Sheldon, Ashley and Irv. The contest results are shown on handout 1.
3. The Squitters jumped different numbers of times. Ask the students to order the Squitters' jumps from the best to worst, by figuring out the fraction of successful jumps by each Squitter, and figuring out who did the best, the second best, and the worst, among the three jumpers.
4. Tell the students that they will watch a video in which the competition results are figured out by the CyberSquad.
5. Show the Percent as a Means to Compare Fractions QuickTime Video .
6. Discuss the students' results on handout 1, and compare those to the results the CyberSquad obtained.
7. Read the following: The CyberSquad must now find a crystal that will allow them to power their escape from Hacker. The crystal they seek must have a certain portion of orange color in it.
8. Distribute Handout 2: Comparing Crystals with Different Color Percentages and ask the students to complete the handout in order to choose the crystal of the correct percentage of orange (or color).
9. Tell the students that they will watch a video clip in which the CyberSquad solves the same problem.
10. Show the Finding the Right Crystal QuickTime Video .
11. Discuss the students' results on handout 2 and compare those to the results the CyberSquad obtained for the crystal.
Part II: Assessment
Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students are asked to match a set of fractions with the corresponding percents. Some of the percent values will match more than one fraction.
Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students are asked to convert a variety of fractions to percents, and then order them from largest to smallest.