Introduction: The Cereal Box project is an individual activity that stresses problem solving and critical thinking as applied to ratios, simplifying fractions, and converting ratios to decimals and percentages.

Timing: This activity requires 90 minutes of class time to complete. Break it up over two, maybe three periods. Some of the project can be assigned for homework. Getting the math component done in class will allow students to focus on the creative component at home and will reduce the chance that students will get too far off base with the mathematical side of the project.

Group Size: Pairs

Learning Objectives: The objective of this activity is to:

a) Review ratios, simplifying fractions, and converting ratios to decimals and percentages

b) Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills

c) Integrate a creative component into a traditional math lesson

Guiding Questions: What are ratios and how can the be simplified and converted into decimals and percentages?

Materials: Colored poster paper, markers, scissors, and other random art supplies. Photocopy enough activity sheets pairs of student.


Read through the opening sections as a class. This is a partnered activity, so you will need to devise some way to match students up. I typically have students in groups of four already, so they will have to pair up with someone in their group. The mathematical complexity of this project is pretty low. The only area that students may struggle with will be summing the ratios/percentages to 100%.

This activity requires pairs of students to create twenty cereal ingredients. The students should come up with a theme before deciding on ingredients. Encourage students to be creative and remind them that ingredients can be completely fictitious, like 10 grams of love. Each ingredient must be expressed as a ratio, a simplified fraction, a decimal, and as a percentage in relation to the daily-recommended serving. Units are required for the ratio and students must round to the thousandths position for the decimal. The ratios cannot be in simplest form already, so students must choose ratios that can be simplified. The total percentages of their ingredients must sum up to 100% and since they cannot have the same percentages, they should plan accordingly.

Students can present their Cereal Box project in a variety of ways. They only requirement is including a nutritional chart with their 20 ingredients expressed as an amount (include units) and as a percentage.

Make sure students record their ingredients, ratios, simplified fractions, decimals, and percentages in the table provided. This is where the mathematical component of their project will actually be graded for correctness. Their cereal box will only be assessed for creativity and neatness.

Make sure student understand the use of the rubric and know that they must score themselves before the project is turned it. The extra point is given with the idea that if anyone matches my score, they must of used the rubric properly. The same goes for taking the point. If they over-scored themselves by four points, they probably did not follow the rubric.

Assessment: The Cereal Box project should be graded based on the rubric included in the activity sheet

Answer Key: Each student’s The Cereal Box project will be different, so an answer key would be of no use.

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