Linear Progression using a Slinky and Candy

This is an excellent lesson plan in which students will collect data, make a table of values, scatter plot, line of best fit, analyze slope and intercept, and answer higher order thinking questions relating to the activity. Students will use a slinky as a scale and measure the "weight" of candy pieces to complete the aforementioned tasks. This lesson plan uses small groups to complete the tasks. For a class that is not leveled, placing lower ability students with higher ability students is highly recommended.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0006.5.1
Sort objects and use one or more attributes to solve problems.
GLE 0701.2.3
Identify the thesis and main points of a speech.
GLE 0706.1.1
Use mathematical language, symbols, and definitions while developing mathematical reasoning.
GLE 0706.3.3
Understand the concept of function as a rule that assigns to a given input one and only one number (the output).
GLE 0706.3.6
Conceptualize the meanings of slope using various interpretations, representations, and contexts.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Upon completion of this lesson, students will learn about slope, y-intercepts, linear progressions and the slope-intercept form of an equation of a line.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 

Have the LD teacher present when dealing with students who may need the extra help. I would also pair weaker students with the stronger students who have the ability to explain several concepts.

Helpful Hints

Materials/ Equipment:
Slinky (cut into 4 equal parts), wire cutter, M&Ms (or other candy that is about the same size and weight), another type of weight (heavier candy or dimes), two meter sticks or yardsticks per group, small cup (I used the containers that holds a roll of film), wire, masking tape, graph paper, looseleaf paper (for notes and to record information), straight edge, pencils, graphing calculators, ClarisWorks or Microsoft Word.