Introduction: The ABC’s and 123’s Revisited project is an individual activity that stresses problem solving and critical thinking as applied to variables, inequalities, and solving inequality equations.

To be honest, I usually don’t do a project this unit. It is a pretty short unit and nothing really seems to fit well for project-based learning. I reworked the original ABC’s and 123’s from unit 3. It will be a challenging project, but it may not be worth the time.

Timing: This activity requires 90 minutes of class time to complete. Break it up over two, maybe three periods. Some of the project can be assigned for homework. Getting the math component done in class will allow students to focus on the creative component at home and will reduce the chance that students will get too far off base with the mathematical side of the project.

Group Size: Individual

Learning Objectives: The objective of this activity is to:

a) Review variables, inequalities, and solving inequality equations

b) Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills

c) Integrate a creative component into a traditional math lesson

Guiding Questions: How can you match ABC’s to their corresponding 123 with various forms of inequality equations?

Materials: Colored paper, markers, scissors, and other random art supplies. Photocopy enough activity sheets for each student.


Read through the opening sections as a class. This is an individual activity, so students may have varying levels of competence with solving inequality equations and may need different amounts of support. The instructions can be confusing, so take your time explaining them and do multiple examples.

All the letters of the alphabet (a-z) must be used as variables and they must correspond with each letter’s numerical value. For example: the letter a corresponds with 1, b with 2, c with 3… z with 26. Various forms of inequality equations will be used to express the value of each variable. The various forms are listed on the activity sheet. These forms and the actual inequalities should be used equally. For example: a – 7 < -6 and a – 7 > -6 are two different types of inequalities, while a – 7 < -6 and 7a < 7 are two different forms of inequality equations. Students should understand what are the constants and coefficients of each type of inequality equation. At least half the constants and coefficients used must be negative in value.

The art aspect of this project is pretty wide open. Their inequality equations just need to be presented in some creative way. Students should focus on getting their equations completed before focusing on the design component. Students can present their ABC’s and 123’s Revisited project in a variety of ways.

Make sure students record their variable, corresponding number, inequality equation, and check on the table provided. This is where their inequality equations will actually be graded for correctness. Their design will only be assessed for creativity and neatness.

Make sure student understand the use of the rubric and know that they must score themselves before the project is turned it. The extra point is given with the idea that if anyone matches my score, they must of used the rubric properly. The same goes for taking the point. If they over-scored themselves by four points, they probably did not follow the rubric.

Assessment: Student’s ABC’s and 123’s Revisited project should be graded based on the rubric included in the activity sheet

Answer Key: Each student’s ABC’s and 123’s Revisited project will be different, so an answer key would be of no use.

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