This unit makes use of the "Sims" family developed in Unit 1 to extend learning into different conceptual domains. They will find the percentage of their income they spend on various budget categories and then use these figures as a springboard into discussions comparing those figures to the average American family. They will also compare and contrast these figures with families from cultures across the globe. They will determine their income tax bracket, budget for a family road trip, use 2-variable equations to predict income over time, and use class data to create scatter plots and generate simple statistical measures for the class economy. In sum, this unit seeks to solidify student conceptual understanding and engagement in topics of the 7th grade curriculum that are often considered dull, uninteresting, and completely divorced from the students' actual experience.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics > Data Analysis & Probability
  • Mathematics > Number Sense & Operations
  • Mathematics > Problem Solving
  • Mathematics > Statistics

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8


Real Life Pre-Algebra Percents Problem Based Learning



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License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial


Update Standards?

MA.6.6.1: Mathematics

The student will describe and compare data, using ratios, and will use appropriate notations, such as a/b, a to b, and a:b.

MA.6.6.2.a: Mathematics

investigate and describe fractions, decimals, and percents as ratios;

MA.6.6.2.c: Mathematics

demonstrate equivalent relationships among fractions, decimals, and percents; and

MA.6.6.15.a: Mathematics

describe mean as balance point; and

MA.6.6.15.b: Mathematics

decide which measure of center is appropriate for a given purpose.

MA.7.7.4: Mathematics

The student will solve single-step and multistep practical problems, using proportional reasoning.

MA.7.7.12: Mathematics

The student will represent relationships with tables, graphs, rules, and words.

MA.7.7.13.a: Mathematics

write verbal expressions as algebraic expressions and sentences as equations and vice versa; and

MA.7.7.13.b: Mathematics

evaluate algebraic expressions for given replacement values of the variables.

MA.8.8.3.a: Mathematics

solve practical problems involving rational numbers, percents, ratios, and proportions; and

MA.8.8.3.b: Mathematics

determine the percent increase or decrease for a given situation.

MA.8.8.13.a: Mathematics

make comparisons, predictions, and inferences, using information displayed in graphs; and

MA.8.8.13.b: Mathematics

construct and analyze scatterplots.

MA.8.8.14: Mathematics

The student will make connections between any two representations (tables, graphs, words, and rules) of a given relationship.

MA.8.8.16: Mathematics

The student will graph a linear equation in two variables.

MA.8.8.17: Mathematics

The student will identify the domain, range, independent variable, or dependent variable in a given situation.
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