Math projects are a great way to assess how well 7th graders have learned the concepts they have been studying. Much of the math learned at this age lends itself to hands-on projects. Consider using math projects to assess the progress your seventh graders are making in areas such as geometry, percents and proportions. The projects also serve to engage students and help them see some of the practical ways abstract math concepts can apply in the real world.
Marrying Math and Art
Incorporate art into your math lessons by assigning an artistic math project to your students. Have them choose between drawing an eight-panel comic strip that explains a math concept or rule, or writing and performing a song that describes a mathematical principle. Have students plan either project and show you a first draft before continuing to the final draft. The comic strip should use irony or humor as well as demonstrating knowledge of the math concept. The song should be entertaining and can be original music or a parody of an existing song.
Assessing the Football Stars
Have students pick the four National Football League quarterbacks they think are the best players. Tell them they will be collecting data about each of these players to put into graphs and present in poster format. Tell them to read the sports pages or visit online sports sites to collect at least four statistics about each player. Then, have them create three graphs and one table to present the information. They should present these graphs on a poster to make a case for which player is the best. You may also want to direct them to find out certain types of information with the statistics such as averages, medians, modes, means or other ratios.
Measuring the School
Provide students with measuring tape. Divide students into teams and have them measure the perimeter of the school. Using those figures, direct them to calculate the area of the school. Compare answers as a group in class. Then, assign them to perform the same task at home on their house, apartment complex or some nearby building. Have them draw a scale model of the building with the perimeter marked and their calculations of the area.
Calculating Building Costs
Divide students into small groups. Give each group the same number of construction materials, such as clay, straws, paper clips, rubber bands, paper, pins or tape and construction paper. Tell each group they have five minutes to build a structure. One person in each group needs to record each item they use to build the structure. When the structure is complete, give students a set price for each piece of material. For example, you could stay that straws are 50 cents, clay is $1, pins are 25 cents and construction paper is 75 cents. Have each group calculate the cost of their building. Have them measure its height and calculate its area. Each group should record its calculations on a worksheet, then present its findings and its building to the class.