Objective: Given a set amount of money, students will be able to compute the time and money occurred in taking a vacation by using the distance formula and adding, and subtracting decimals.

Materials Needed:


  1. Ask students to choose a major city in the USA from the list provided that they would like to visit. (It is very important that you do this first, otherwise their choices might change once they hear the rest of the directions. Two students might have the same city.) There is a list below but you may add any other cities that you would like. (This lesson was put together very fast!)
  2. Look to see where they actually are going by looking at a map of major cities in the USA.

  3. After they have chosen their city explain to them that they will only have $500 (or any set amount of money) to spend on their trip.

  4. With mileage, the students should find out how far (mileage) their major city is from their hometown. (This is as the crow flies. You may want them to find a more exact mileage by using a map.) After the student has found the milage, have tham click on the hyperlink that says "See these places on the map". This shows them the distance between the two cities.

  5. Using the current gasoline rate, the students should figure the amount that they will be spending on gasoline. (Assume 20 miles per gallon.) They should remember that they also have to come back home, so double the price.

  6. Assuming that you will be traveling at a constant rate of speed (65mph), the students will be able to calculate the time that it will take them to travel to their city. (D=rt)

  7. Now the students can navigate their trip (Using Net Search for cities not included on my list). They can decide where they are going and if they have enough money to go there. They need to keep in mind that if they spend the night, they will have to pay lodging. Places to go and see can be found using the Internet (entertainment for that city). A little bit of "estimating" prices may be used on your discretion. They donít have to just go to their major city. They can travel elsewhere along the way.

  8. A travel log and expenditure list must be kept at all times. The students also need to let you know how long their trip will be (when they will be leaving and returning: an agenda for the trip).

  9. After the students have taken their trip, a brochure of their "findings" should be created.

List of Major Cities:

This lesson was created by Robin Adams.