To help my students understand what proportional relationships look like on a table, graph, equation and verbal description, I created the Turtle Races. I was inspired by an activity I did with Terry Wyberg at the University of Minnesota that used turtles races as a way to match different representations of different functions. Because I teach 7th grade and all of our standards center around the idea of proportionality, I adapted this turtle race idea to help my students understand what proportional relationships look like as a table, graph, equation or verbal description.
I tried this lesson for the first time last year. It was okay, showed potential but need some logistical changes in execution. This year it went really really well! All groups were able to match the pieces with little help from me, and most groups were able to completely fill in the missing pieces.
I treated the questions more as a post-game analysis activity. Students had to start them on their own at the their seat. They used their matching to start making some connections between time, distance and proportionality. Only after we talked about #1 as a class, did I let them find a partner to finish the questions.
Here are the materials. Post any questions and I’ll try to respond to them!