Math Explorations 2009
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Today's class was about mapping to understand functions. The first thing the students were made to do was to go to and look up the word ambiguous. The word ambiguous meaning open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations was related to functions and maps. Students were then told to thing of an example of something ambiguous. Students came up with answers such as the following: how the world was created, the theories for the extinction of dinosaurs, etc.

After this discussion the students went to visit Then they searched South America. After being given five maps of South America they were told to color them based on characteristics like language, population, date of independence, square mileage and the letter the name starts with.

After collecting the maps, the teacher discussed and explained functions and terminology relating to functions (range, domain etc.). The first map was used as an example to explain functions. Students came up to the board and connected entries from domain (the countries) to entries in range (characteristics). After learning that the diagram was not a function, the students worked in groups to answer questions about the ambiguity of the relationships.

The groups were able to analyze each of the five maps. Then, the class discussed whether each of the maps were ambiguous. After this discussion, the groups began brainstorming other functional/nonfunctional relationships in the world.