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Conflict by the Numbers

School: Harborside Academy

City/State: Kenosha, WI

Grade(s): 10

Format(s): Report

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies

Project Overview

These booklets were created by tenth grade students at Harborside Academy in Kenosha, Wisconsin as the mathematical component of a learning expedition called “World of Conflict.”

Students used the principles of geometry, particularly ratios and proportions, to compare different wars and determine which was the most devastating to the United States and why. Over a two week period, they conducted statistical research, calculated ratios and proportions, interviewed veterans for background information, and used software to create their booklets. The statistical research provided data on many aspects of the wars, such as number of soldiers served, number of casualties, cost of war, and compensation for veterans.

This project gives students a broader understanding of the implications of war, and that the effects of conflict go far beyond the number of casualties. Using the geometric principle of similarity, students apply math skills to real world problems.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights a high school-level math project
  • Encourages students to look at historical events from a different perspective.
  • Combination of booklet design and math challenges students both creatively and academically.
  • Unusual example of interdisciplinary collaboration at an upper high school level
  • Compelling example of making math come alive, by embedding with it within a historical study
  • The collaboration of high school level math and humanities is evident throughout the book; this project is a fine model for teacher collaboration in a secondary setting

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.
  • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
  • I can evaluate reports based on data.
  • I can apply geometric methods to solve design problems.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
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