This Week’s Anton Lesson Plan
Even though the baseline that newspapers work from includes writing and research, not unlike any other career path, mathematics certainly has its place. Math plays a crucial part whether it has to do with a story focusing on the elements behind an upcoming vote for a village bond issue, figuring out the batting average for a major league baseball player or calculating the grosses of weekend movie ticket sales. On a practical level, writers are constantly working with word counts and scaling photos down to an allotted space, while art directors find themselves having to balance ratios between ads and editorial content.
The following are exercises students can do to get a taste of the role mathematics plays in your newspaper.
• In your newspaper find and circle words that illustrate the concepts of size, location, time, quantity, value and money.
• Count the number of pictures in this week’s edition of the newspaper. Create a graph of the number of pictures in the newspaper each week for a month.
• Newspaper photographs are not always the same size and the size that appears in the newspaper. Choose a photo in the newspaper that interests you. If the original was 4” X 6,” what was the percentage of reduction or enlargement necessary to make it the size that appeared in the newspaper?
• Determine the percentage of a specific page that is devoted to news, advertising, photos, etc. Can your students determine the percentage of the entire newspaper that is devoted to advertising?