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Math in Videogames Lesson Plan


Download the full instructions for this lesson plan 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 video segment in which they learn how Julia Detar, a young videogame designer, uses math in her work and are presented with a mathematical videogame challenge.  In Learning Activity 1, students solve the challenge that Julia posed to the teams in the video.  As students solve the problem, they have an opportunity to use an online simulation to find a solution.  Students summarize how they solved the problem, followed by a viewing of the strategies and solutions used by the Get the Math teams.  In Learning Activity 2, students try to solve an additional interactive videogame challenge. In the Culminating Activity, students reflect upon and discuss their strategies and talk about the ways in which algebra can be applied in the world of videogames and beyond.


Students will be able to:

  • Describe scenarios that require designers to use mathematics and algebraic reasoning in creating videogames.
  • Identify a strategy and create a model for problem solving.
  • Describe relationships and make generalizations for mathematical situations that have numbers or objects that repeat in predictable ways.
  • Recognize, describe, and represent linear relationships using words, tables, numerical patterns, graphs, and/or equations.
  • Explain “rate of change” and “slope.”
  • Understand, explain, and use algebraic and numeric expressions and equations that are interconnected and build on one another to produce a coherent whole.
  • Learn to recognize and graph transformations.