Using the News to Learn Maths

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Students frequently request examples they can relate to when will they make use of the math they are learning, and teachers often struggle to show real-world applications of the math they are teaching. Yet a rich source of material for both pupil and teacher is located every day: current events. The belief of Math in the News is the idea that each relevant narrative (the weather, sports, space travel, the market, etc.) can be recast as a math narrative. Let’s look with a good example.

All students go to pictures and therefore are accustomed to prices for other costs, food at the concessions, and tickets. They know there is an effective movie on the basis of the number of tickets sold as well as the amount of cash it makes. It is a topic that pupils already are interested in. You are halfway toward creating a lesson.


There are several Web sites that keep an eye on data on all films released in a given year. Start by asking students when they understand just how much cash was made in 2013 from all pictures. Write their guesses on the board. Arrange the numbers from least to greatest. From these speculations you are able to start to develop the concepts of median range, and mean of a group of data.

All of a sudden a data-gathering task has a real and private relevance for pupils.

After that you can show the students the top movies for the entire year. Ask exactly how many pupils watched every one of the 10. See whether the most notable movie was watched by more pupils. You can then break it down further – ask who watched it on ITV player or using a UK VPN perhaps. ┬áThen ask them to think the amount of money each film brought in in ticket sales. Have students find the average of the guesses, then compare them to the specific numbers from the Web site.

You don’t have to work with only historical data. At just about any certain time of the entire year, a group is always of films about to be released, and one marquee movie which gets a great deal of promotion. Then have the particular numbers are gathered by the students once the weekend box office numbers are understood. Ask them to compare their predicted values with the actuals. And all of a sudden the mathematics has taken on real meaning for the students.

Current events offer an endless chance for mathematics-related stories. Identify the themes that interest your students. Have a day of collecting news articles, then possess the pupils find the underlying math story.

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