Famous Mathematician Book

Famous Mathematician Book

Course(s)/Subject(s): Mathematics

Grade Level(s): 7 -12

Key Words: technology, mathematician, biography, web research

Developer(s) Name: Kay Shear

School: c

Attached Files: Famous Mathematician Book

Approximate Time Frame: Three block periods plus out of class time.

Materials/Equipment Needed: Internet ready computers (one for each is preferable - pairs at most) with word processing. Copies of instruction handout for students. Disks for students.

Description of Lesson (includes context): This lesson can be done at any point of the year as part of a portfolio, writing project or computer lab time. The lesson includes research from web sites, copying and pasting graphics and/or text from the Internet to a word processing document and composing a final draft of a booklet.


1. What is the objective of this lesson?

VA FCPS POS Standards: Mathematics Standard 6: Communicate Mathematically and Standard 8: Mathematics conceptual connections within and outside mathematics.

VA FCPS POS Benchmarks: 6.1 and 8.1

VA FCPS POS Indicators: 6.1.2 and 8.1.2

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology): C/T 8.1 Compose and edit a multi-page document at the keyboard, using word processing skills and the writing process. Integrate databases, graphics, and spreadsheets into word-processed documents. C/T 8.2 Use local and worldwide network communications systems. C/T 8.4 Use search strategies to retrieve electronic information.


2. What will we examine as evidence of students’ knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): A five page booklet containing a summary biography, pictures, quotes demonstrating the ability to search the Internet, summarize information, copy from the Internet and word process.

Performance(s): A presentation before the class could be done either orally or using
a slide show.


3. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. You will be doing a web research project on a mathematician. You will need to find, summarize, and write a booklet about the person you are researching. We will be in the computer lab for three days.
  2. The first day, you will focus on research. Find all of the information you need to answer all of the questions on the handout. Open a word processing document and copy any pictures or quotes you may use. INCLUDE THE WEB ADDRESS OF EACH WEB SITE AS YOU COPY THE INFORMATION. Print out research you know you will use and highlight it for later summarizing.
  3. Once you can answer all the questions, start your booklet. It will be five pages long. Use your handout to decide what goes on each page. There will be a picture or graphic for each page.
  4. If you are summarizing, make sure you write the information in your own words so you are not plagiarizing. ASK IF YOU ARE NOT SURE.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson?

  1. Before beginning this project, review the differences between quoting, summarizing, and plagiarism. Show students how to cite a web address for their references. Demonstrate how to copy pictures, text and images from the Web to a word processing document.
  2. Decide whether to assign mathematicians or allow students to choose their own. Assigning has its advantages.
  3. Assign due date and presentation date(s).
  4. Supervise web research to keep students from getting stuck or overwhelmed. Students will need to print out their research and highlight or otherwise read it before composing.
  5. In seating for the computers, try to spread out the “computer whiz kids” -- they are very helpful!


4. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?
Students can be overwhelmed by the huge quantities of data available on some mathematicians (like Pythagoras). Likewise, some mathematicians have scant information, and students may find they cannot flesh out all requested information. To facilitate these students, choose a mathematician with a moderate amount of information available on the suggested web site and do not encourage them to search other web sites.
For the gifted student, assign a mathematician requiring extensive research or request that the description the mathematician’s discoveries be in his or her own words, not quoted.
This project is an opportunity to provide role models to minority students and possibly engage disinterested learners. If mathematicians are assigned to students, try to match for nationality and gender.