Math in Fashion Lesson Plan


Download the full lesson plan instructions with all handouts.

Using video segments and web interactives from Get the Math, students engage in an exploration of mathematics, specifically proportional reasoning and sense making, to solve real world problems. In this lesson, students focus on understanding the Big Ideas of Algebra: patterns, relationships, equivalence and linearity; learn to use a variety of representations, including modeling with variables; build connections between numeric and algebraic expressions; and use what they have learned previously about number and operations, measurement, proportionality, and discrete mathematics as applications of algebra.  Methodology includes guided instruction, student-partner investigations, and communication of problem solving strategies and solutions.

In the Introductory Activity, students view a brief profile of a young professional who shares her passion for fashion design and who presents a fashion-related math challenge. In Learning Activity 1, students work in small groups to calculate the wholesale price of the garment and to determine what changes could be made to the garment to meet the target retail price point. (Students can solve the problem using handouts provided in the lesson and/or by using an online simulation.) Students summarize how they solved the problem and view the strategies and solutions used by the Get the Math teams. In Learning Activity 2, students explore an online simulation on the Get the Math website to tackle other similar fashion-related challenges. In the Culminating Activity, students reflect upon and discuss their reasoning and talk about the ways in which algebra can be used in the world of fashion and beyond.


Students will be able to:

  • Describe scenarios that require artists to use mathematics and algebraic reasoning in fashion design.
  • Identify a strategy and create a model for problem solving.
  • Explain the difference between a wholesale and retail price and demonstrate how to determine the wholesale price when the retail price is known and vice versa.
  • Recognize, describe, and represent linear relationships using words, tables, numerical patterns, graphs, and/or equations.
  • Solve problems using rates (percents), ratios, and proportional reasoning.
  • Solve problems using measures that are determined through calculations with measurements that can be taken directly (i.e., derived measures).
  • Represent and solve inequalities using multiple representations.
  • Understand, explain, and use algebraic and numeric expressions, equations, and inequalities that are interconnected and build on one another to produce a coherent whole.