After I finish teaching a topic, I like to give my students an opportunity to create a piece of work that combines ideas and concepts learnt in the topic. I have especially enjoyed this small project with my younger students. Not only will your students work collaboratively with others, but you will end up with a magnificent classroom display that enhances your learning space to become more positive and welcoming. After seeing my classroom display, other teachers have asked for me to run the project with their class, hence, I’ve decided to upload all the resources I’ve used so that any teacher can pick up these instructions and hit the ground running.
Year level: Grade 7
Year 7 is an exciting year where students are transitioning between primary school to high school. For these students, it can be scary making new friends and meeting different teachers. Small projects such as these can enhance students’ experience of Mathematics whilst developing their soft skills. That being said, this task can be modified to suit any year.
Collaborative & student-centred, with the teacher as the facilitator.
Introducing the task
Below is a PowerPoint that can get you started.
The next step is by far the most important step. In my Year 7 class, I have 27 students, hence, I drew a 3 x 9 grid on the board to facilitate in the planning of the city. Each of the rectangles in the grid represents one student’s poster. I asked students to come up to the board one by one to fill in their own rectangular box with: their name and at least 3 different features that they’d like to have in their portion of the map.
Note: The second time I ran this task, I did this planning process digitally and projected the Google Doc on the whiteboard (I would recommend doing it like this). While some students are invited to type on the computer, other students can be planning their poster design. To achieve minimum mayhem, this can be done table by table.
If you have 20 students in your class, your planning could look a little something like this…
Student Instructions & Marking Guidelines
Download the following document and print it double sided. It is useful for students to have the marking guidelines so they know exactly what is expected of them.
Collaboration & Communication
Students need to be given some time to work with and discuss with their peers how they want to connect their poster maps. For example, in Figure 1 Sonia’s poster is in the middle of the 1st row. Sonia needs to speak to Katie, Jake and Umbi about how they want to connect their posters. To keep the roads consistent, in the PowerPoint slides, students were instructed to make the roads 3 cm in diameter.
Variations of the Project+ Extension ideas
- Make it 3D! If you are teaching Volume, making a Maths City in 3D would be relevant. For example, student can make nets of rectangular prisms out of cardboard.
- Change the topic focus. You could give specific requirements for Length & Area, Angles etc.
- Knowledge Integration: Find out what the students are learning from other subjects and make a themed city with mathematical requirements.
The Final Product
Math City Sign
I am very happy with the results! My students especially enjoyed adding their own personality and creativity into their poster. Students added creative elements such as a highway that runs through the entire map, a multitude of bubble tea shops (a giant fad of today’s younger generation) as well as many recognisable company icons. Try it out for yourself!