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Lesson Plan

Planning a SDAIE Lesson

The Importance of Parabolas

Focus Question: (What concepts do you want to teach in this lesson?)

  1. What is the name of each part of the parabola?
  2. Why are parabolas so important to our daily life?
  3. How do you draw the graph of a parabola?

Outcomes: (What will the students be able to do at the conclusion of the lesson?)

  1. Know the vocabulary words associated with parabolas
  2. Give examples of parabolas (or 3-D parabolic shapes) in everyday life.
  3. Know the names of the parts of the parabola using the geometric and algebraic definitions
  4. Graph a parabola using a chart of points (a table of X & Y values)
  5. Know why are parabolas so useful to us (because of the position of the focus in relation to the parabola).


Target Vocabulary: (What words do the students need to know to understand the concepts?)

  1. Parabola
  2. Parabolic shapes
  3. Vertex
  4. Axis of symmetry
  5. Focus
  6. Directrix

Primary Sources: (What photos, diaries, first-hand accounts will you use?)

  1. Identify satellite dishes, solar cookers as parabolas.
  2. Monday night football long distance microphones are parabolic to hear the "crunch" at the line of scrimmage.



Visuals: (What pictures, realia, charts, maps, etc. will you use?)

  1. Handout with graph of parabola, geometric definition, and vocabulary words
  2. Satellite dish
  3. Parabolic microphone used at football games
  4. Antique candle with parabolic reflector
  5. Mag light flashlight (to demonstrate light rays in a parabola, and the focus of the flashlight)
  6. Solar Hot Dog cooker



Motivation: (How will you start your lesson?)

  1. Why are parabolas so important in everyday life?
  2. K E W L chart (pronounced "cool" chart)
  3. What they Know about parabolas
  4. Chart with Geometric definition of parabola to tie in to prior learning.
  5. Examples of parabolic shapes used in everyday life (see the realia section)
  6. What they Want to learn about parabolas
  7. What they have Learned



Vocabulary: (How will you teach and reinforce the target vocabulary?)

  1. Pictures
  2. Graphs
  3. Realia
  4. Hands on activity (build a solar Hot Dog cooker)



Instruction: (What activities will you assign to insure understanding? How will interactive learning accommodate different learning styles, etc.?)

  1. K E W L chart for formative and summative assessment. The class will break up into groups of 4-6 students. They will each have a KEWL chart, and there will be a KEWL chart at the front of the class.
  2. Each group will fill in what they already know about parabolas (this will remind them of their prior learning from Algebra I).
  3. Each group will then choose a representative to go to the front of the class and write what they already know about parabolas.
  4. Each student in each group will be given a chart with the geometric definition of a parabola. This chart will also be displayed at the front of the room. This will tie into prior knowledge from Geometry and introduce the vocabulary words.
  5. Each group will add to their KEWL chart, Examples of three-dimensional parabolas in real life. Again a representative of each group will add their answers to the chart at the front of the class.
  6. A demonstration will be given using the realia listed above showing the importance of the focus and itís correct placement in parabolas.
  7. The realia will be passed around to each group, so they can examine for themselves the role of the focus.
  8. A demonstration will be given on how to graph a parabola using a chart (table) of points (X & Y values).
  9. Students will break into groups of two students each. They will work together graphing several parabolas in class.
  10. In all the group work listed above, the instructor will circulate throughout the classroom to ask and answer questions and observe student work.
  11. Individual work: graphing parabolas and identifying each part of the parabola for homework.

(The rest of the KEWL chart: the WL part will continue on the second day of the lesson)

These activities will accommodate all learning styles (and use all the senses except taste). The group activities will allow for peer teaching and usage of L1 languages, and will also lower the Affective Filter.



Integrating Language: (How will you include reading, writing, listening, speaking into your lesson?)

  1. Using the KEWL chart and working in groups, the students will write, listen to me and to each other, and speak to me (as I circulate between the groups) and each other.





Assessment: (How will you check for understanding and mastery?)

  1. K E W L chart (formative and summative)
  2. Observation of the students as they work in their groups (as I walk around the classroom from group to group: formative).
  3. Group and Individual student work (graphing parabolas): formative.
  4. Summative assessment ( Unit Test )




Independent Work: (What will follow-up activities will you assign?)

  1. Individual student work: graphing parabolas for homework.
  2. Constructing a Solar Hot Dog Cooker at the end of the unit.