Love Food, Hate Waste - Simultaenous Equations

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Using real world data to explore simultaneous equations

Lesson idea. A lesson activity to explore simultaneous equations using data from a website seemingly unrelated to mathematics.

Teaching approach. Using a source that was not intended by its creators as a mathematical resource, pupils are introduced to informal ways of solving simultaneous equations. The lesson starts with an intriguing ‘hook’, pupils are able to use reasoning(ta) skills to find an answer to the problem and can then, later, formalise this in an algebraic context, using their informal work to support the transition to mathematical thinking(ta). whole class(ta) work supports this inquiry(ta) into the data provided. Using a resource not targeted at mathematics specifically encourages pupils to think about maths outside of the classroom. (edit)

Resource details
Title Love Food, Hate Waste - Simultaneous Equations
Topic Simultaneous Equations
Teaching approach
Learning Objectives

Solving simultaneous equations presented in a context (rather than merely with algebra), featuring positive integers.

Format / structure

The activity below, with website link.

Age of students / grade

KS4,  KS3,  Secondary

Useful information

You'll need to be able to project a website to display data. An interactive white board might also be useful.

Files and resources to view and download (a freely available, UK website) used in the activity on this page also available as a download File:Love Food Hate Waste - Simultaenous Equations Lesson.doc.


This resource was adapted from resources contributed by Mark Dawes