Back to School: Featured Lessons – Grades 9-12 Math & Science

However you might be kicking off the 2020 school year – in person, hybrid, or virtual – we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some relevant content for you. Check out some of our back-to-school lessons, as well as subject-specific content!

Back to School

Back to School: High School

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Subject(s): ELA

This Back to School unit helps high school students prepare for the new school year. Students complete activities to facilitate community, establish goals, and gain comfort among teachers and peers. Choose to either complete the whole unit or focus activities.

9-12 Science Lessons

My Life as a Tectonic Plate

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Subject(s): ELA, Science

Tectonic plate movements direct much of our natural world but are so large that they are difficult to imagine. In this project, students will research and analyze the attributes of a tectonic plate by becoming a plate!

Students will investigate the details, trends, unanswered questions, patterns, and more in the history of the tectonic plate and explain it all from the point of view of the tectonic plate. Enemies? Yes! Peer pressure? Let’s talk. Students will collaborate with peers and will present their final project to their classmates.


Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9

Subject(s): Science

Keep the level, color, and temperature the same in a leaky cup of yellow water – maintain homeostasis to keep ‘Homer’ alive!

Homeostasis is traditionally a tricky concept to teach. This is a memorable and successful way to finally get this central need of life across to students with a fun challenge. It’s tried and tweaked, easy to resource, and links the lab to the way their bodies work. It can work as the starting activity to any level of physiology course, within the characteristics of life unit at the start of middle school life science, or toward the end of a unit on cells.

9-12 Math Lessons

The Game of Life – Financial Literacy Project

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Subject(s): Math

It’s time to keep it real – sort of. What will happen once you leave the safe confines of your school and venture into the Game of Life? Rather than dancing in musicals and playing basketball nine hours a day, you’ll have to go out and get a real job and pay bills. While it is impossible to give you a completely accurate Game of Life experience that includes all of life’s little intricacies, this project intends to push your financial literacy skills and develop decision-making skills that will be with you — forever. Can you survive the [simulated] Game of Life?

Students analyze the spending of different individuals and determine whether or not they have the available funds necessary to purchase an item they would like. They look at the budgets and actual spending of different individuals. Are they spending within their budget?

Then students will calculate monthly payments of different loans and choose between them. Finally, they will then take on the multifaceted Game of Life project that requires that they make choices, set budgets, encounter life changes, and much more!

Crime Scene Decoders – Whodunnit? Systems of Equations

Grade(s): 8, 9, 10, 11

Subject(s): Math

Nothing like a good criminal investigation to liven up math class!

Based on the popular Crime Scene Decoder lessons, there are now Crime Scene Decoder – CaseCrackers. The Case Crackers focus on single content topics as opposed to units and more on skill building than application. Every day can’t be a project day, so CaseCrackers can be an engaging activity to practice important foundational skills.

In a Crime Scene Decoder – Case Crackers, students will work to solve ten practice problems that increase in difficulty. After each answer, they will receive a clue. Similar to the board game Clue, there will be a fictional theft and the goal will be to determine the thief, the scene of the crime, and just how the thief plans to spend the loot.

Viral Video

Grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Subject(s): Math

In Viral Video, students will use YouTube views and advertising data to practice modeling linear and power functions. Students will also utilize power functions to evaluate and solve problems. As marketing managers, they are responsible for promoting an artist and negotiating advertising deals for their online content.

This performance task has editions for 17 popular artists, including Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande.