Art Projects to Create a Math Adventure...
The Math Journal
are important elements in many adventure stories. The idea for the Math
Journal came from the movie, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Walt
Disney's "Atlantis" also featured a diary. Can you think of other adventure
stories where a journal or diary was significant?
When completed, the Math Journal
looks like an ancient book that is full of mysterious and amazing secrets and discoveries!
It's an exciting and fun project that appeals to all students.
The Math Journal is a comprehensive
and in depth project. It requires a lot of time and effort on the part of the
students. For that reason, I use it as the centerpiece of my curriculum;
the textbook that I taught from previously, I now use as a resource book for problems and homework
assignments. It is my observation that the students were never enthusiastic about the textbook anyway.
Now they definitely have something that they are enthused about.
This project is most successful
when it is used either as the core of the curriculum or in a situation
where there is additional (lab) time. I do not recommend that the Math
Journal be used as a supplementary project with a class that meets just
5 periods a week. I have tried it, and there just isn't enough time! There
are other projects described on this web site that are more suitable as
The Math Journal has 200 - 220 pages
which include 4 types of content:
Instructional content which serves
the same purpose as lecture notes.
Pages where students research various
subjects on the Internet. These subjects include history, biographies,
and topics of interest.
Diagrams, charts, and illustrations.
Students are given a choice of methods for reproducing these, from simple
tracing to freehand drawing. They are also given a great deal of "freedom
of expression" when it comes to doing the illustrations.
Pages where the students can select
for themselves what they would like to put on them.
The journal project effectively
incorporates within the course, a study of Biblical references, significant
events from the history of math (such as how we got the name "algebra"),
notable mathematicians, and interesting puzzles, facts and concepts. The
result is an adventure that is designed to appeal to all students. Students
enjoy creating a book that looks old and doing the research to gather information
to fill their books. When they finish the course, they have made a book
of over 200 pages which is a tangible record of their experience.
Here is a small selection of
sample pages from an algebra journal...
(This may take a few minutes to
The Title Page
Math and Genesis
Multiplication & Division
A Factoring Machine
Sequences - Music & Light
here to see how you can purchase an inexpensive copy of this journal.
here to see my students working on their journals
here to see our journal exhibit at the art show
here to see the students' web pages
Create a Math Squad Math Journal
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
This is a teacher's guide which explains how to implement a journal project in
a math classroom. This guide explains how the journal can include 4 kinds of pages:
lecture notes, illustrations (charts, diagrams, graphs, etc), research topics, and
pages where students pick the math-related subject. There is a page-by-page listing
of the contents of my algebra journal as an example plus copies of 70 actual
pages of illustrations and supplemental material that I use. Please note: The
many of these supplemental pages are about a Biblical subjects such as
information about Noah's ark, King Solomon's Pool, the Ark of the Covenant,
the tower of Babel, and the Six Days of Creation. There are also pages about
Fibonacci, Kepler, and Descartes and other interesting math topics.
here to see a copy of this journal that you can purchase.
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Algebra Journal Project
Student Web Pages
Copyright, Jim Bennett © Copyright 2001-