Lesson Plan

Applying Proportional Reasoning

Proportional reasoning is the bedrock of the Common Core for middle school math. This app flow will engage your students in applying proportions to real-world contexts.
Kelly A.
Classroom teacher
Ladue Middle School
St. Louis, MO
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
Digitial Citizenship and EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities
  • use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship
  • use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems
  • recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities
  • use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems
Grades 6 - 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduce


Lead students through the “New-tritional Info” lesson on Mathalicious (available for free!) to introduce students to a real-world application of proportional reasoning. The lesson asks an interesting question: What if fast food restaurants labeled their products with exercise minutes instead of calories? Students will apply proportions to answer the question and explore its implications.

2 Research

Wolfram Alpha
Free, Paid

After the initial lesson, ask your students: What are the two major variables that we played with in this lesson? They should be able to tell you that food type and exercise minutes were the major factors. Have students research other fast food products - the ones they eat most often, or the ones that most repulse them! - and apply what they learned about exercise efficiency. Students can also investigate rates of calorie burn in other activities not covered in the original lesson for an extra challenge. Wolfram Alpha is an excellent tool for modeling the proportions used in the lesson, and will help them calculate and visualize the data they find.

3 Organize

Google Drive
Free, Paid

As your students investigate other fast food products, have them organize their data in a Google Doc. This will work especially well if students are working in collaborative groups - docs and spreadsheets can easily be shared among group members.

4 Present

Students can present their findings to the class using Haiku Deck. This tool gets students into the habit of making engaging presentations without relying on simply reading a slide. Students will have to consolidate their information and choose just the right visuals to support their information using Haiku Deck.

5 Evaluate

As students are giving their presentations, assess their information using a rubric on JumpRope. This online grading platform easily ties assessment to standards, so you can clearly communicate how well your students demonstrated their mastery of concepts. When presentations are finished, conference with each of your students and show them their personal rubric. The feedback will be helpful for everyone to set goals for learning as you move forward in your curriculum.