My Fellow Americans ~ Bringing Language Arts to the Math Classroom

My love (okay obsession) with Mathalicious has been well documented on Twitter so I don’t usually blog about individual lessons but we had so much fun with “My Fellow Americans” and the kids produced such great work I had to share it here!

This lesson begins with students using the Flesch-Kincaid formula to analyze the reading level of State of the Union addresses from the last 200 years.  The kids had a great time sounding out the words to determine how many syllables there were in each passage and we had some great discussion on this topic!  There’s a chance we had to borrow a dictionary from our Language Arts teacher…sometimes the southern drawl messes with the syllable count!


After analyzing the trends in the reading level of the State of the Union Addressees (sorry can’t reveal all the secrets!) students are given the opportunity to take a sentence from Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address and transform it into both a reading level that is lower and higher than it’s current level.  We had so much fun with this that of course I had to turn it in to a contest and award the student with the highest and lowest sentence.  They blew me away with what they came up with!  It was a great way for them to understand how different values effect an equation in different and more meaningful ways while writing some amazing sentences with seriously unbelievable vocabulary!  We videoed the original sentence along with our highest and lowest winners.  Our lowest level sentence came in at a -2.5 reading level and the highest was above 40…I almost passed out when he hit me at the end with the “bald eagle idolizing, Civil War fighting, World War II deciding” line at the end…this kid has a future in politics!


We seriously had so much fun with this lesson and I felt more like a Language Arts teacher than a math teacher for once!  Thanks Mathalicious for another exciting day of using math as a spectrum to see another content!


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