Citizen Math used to be called Mathalicious. If you have a current account on Mathalicious, you can use those credentials to log in to your Citizen Math account. Learn more here.

Logo icon 2 color
A%3d&expires=1638275731

Wage War

Should the government increase the minimum wage?

Login to add lessons to your favorites

Wage War

Should the government increase the minimum wage?

Login to add lessons to your favorites
A%3d&expires=1638275731
Log In or Sign Up to Access Lesson Materials
Log In or Sign Up to Access Lesson Materials
Log In or Sign Up to Access Lesson Materials

Should the government increase the minimum wage? Millions of people earn hourly wages at fast-food restaurants, but it can be difficult to determine how much to pay. On one hand, the more a restaurant pays, the more people will want to work there. On the other hand, the fewer employees the restaurant will want to hire.

In this lesson, students use systems of linear equations to explore the relationship between wage and labor, analyze the economics of fast-food restaurants, and debate whether the federal government should increase the minimum wage.

REAL WORLD TAKEAWAYS

  • As the hourly wage increases (for a given job), more people will want the job but companies will hire fewer employees.
  • The federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25. Many people working at or near minimum wage in the U.S. require government assistance for basic needs. As a result, some people have called for a higher minimum wage, e.g. $15/hr.
  • Economists disagree about the consequences of raising the minimum wage.

MATH OBJECTIVES

  • Given a table of values, calculate the change in y per change in x (i.e. the slope); interpret the slope in context
  • Solve a system of linear equations
  • Interpret the solution of a system, and the space on either side, in a real-world context

Great anytime, including at the beginning of a unit before students have any formal introduction to the topic.
Lesson gauge easy
Algebra 1
Solving Linear Systems
Lesson gauge easy
Algebra 1
Solving Linear Systems
Content Standards A.CED.2 Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities; graph equations on coordinate axes with labels and scales. A.REI.6 Solve systems of linear equations exactly and approximately (e.g., with graphs), focusing on pairs of linear equations in two variables. F.IF.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph. F.LE.1 Distinguish between situations that can be modeled with linear functions and with exponential functions. (a) Prove that linear functions grow by equal differences over equal intervals, and that exponential functions grow by equal factors over equal intervals. (b) Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another. (c) Recognize situations in which a quantity grows or decays by a constant percent rate per unit interval relative to another. F.LE.2 Construct linear and exponential functions, including arithmetic and geometric sequences, given a graph, a description of a relationship, or two input-output pairs (include reading these from a table).
Mathematical Practices MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. MP.3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. MP.4 Model with mathematics.

Other Algebra 1 Lessons