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Happiness, and the lack thereof, is on the mind of every student in our classroom. As a result, students often have strong opinions about happiness, sadness, and the space between. Do bad days make good days feel better? Is it better to have a steady, small level of happiness, or to swing wildly from elation to misery and back?

In this lesson, students use integers to compare good and bad days and use absolute value to explore what happens when we reinterpret negative moments in a more positive light.

Students will

  • Interpret and analyze graphs of individuals' emotions of over a week
  • Operate with integers to describe changes between positive and negative emotions
  • Describe the magnitude of emotions using absolute value
  • Create a graphical representation of emotions over a week

Before you begin

Students should be familiar with the coordinate plane. They do not need prior experience calculating the difference between positive and negative integers nor calculating absolute value.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices