First we had to do the research (see Video #1 below). Ms. Margot wanted to do new and exciting things on her "trip", but nothing having to do with hunting or fishing (she doesn't like killing things). Although she would take any kind of transportation, she liked planes best because they're faster. So we started planning an interesting trip for her by using www.travelocity.com. We had to figure out what she was going to do, where she was going to stay, and how she was going to get there.
Then after a few days of getting ideas, Ms. Margot gave us the travel date and we had to see how the weather was, because sometimes this affected the activities we were planning on telling her about (see Video #2 below). One group saw that there was a storm in Arkansas, so they decided to change their place to a part in Louisiana that had less precipitation. They also chose indoor activities to do instead. Sadly, we later found out that this storm devoured the state.
Finally, after our teams found the best deals and ideas, we gave a presentation to our classmates and Ms. Margot. First we chose a place in the US (leaving from California) and used the WDLC, then we chose a country in South America and used our own satellite downloads from EXA (see Video #3). Ms. Margot says that we're all winners already, but there will be one group who will get a little something extra if they can persuade her the best. So pay attention to how we used clever words and ideas in our presentations!
Teacher note: Not only did students cover many math curriculum standards with this activity (number sense, word problems, estimation, etc), but they also practiced analytical and critical thinking skills. Icing on the cake included learning some geography, language arts and presentation skills along the way...and all while having f-u-n! The teacher was also entertained to no end :-).