Contextualized math lessons can serve a variety of purposes. Since we use math in context in our real life, a contextualized lesson can provide a valuable opportunity for practice and application of concepts in a math curriculum. The original Heat Wave lesson was designed to provide a scientific and socially relevant context for student to practice analyzing and creating arguments with data. The adaptation of Heat Wave is intended for students who need more basic work in understanding statistics. Both sets of lessons focus on the same big ideas so this could be an example of how the class could have discussions about climate change all together but then tackle math situations at different levels.
On the other hand, many science, social studies, career, and life skills topics require mathematical reasoning to fully understand the content. The lesson Will it Rain Tomorrow? was designed as part of a science unit on weather, climate, and climate change, with the recognition that an understanding of basic probability and statistics is required to understand the scientific concepts. This lesson could also be used in a math unit on probability to provide a context for students to apply their math skills. Whatever the primary goal, contextualized lessons can help adult students become critical thinkers and to make connections between their learning and real life.
Links to downloads of all of our contextualized lessons and instructional units can be found on the Math Curriculum Resource page.