by Julia Marusiak

Algebra I

Solving Equations

Julia Marusiak
To obtain a downloadable copy of the worksheet that accompanies this bulletin board, click on the button below.

TITLE: The Equation Odyssey

SUBJECT: Algebra I

TOPIC: Solving Equations using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

INTERACTIVITY: The theme of the bulletin board is to help Odysseus get home to Ithaca by solving a series of equations correctly. Starting at Troy and on each of the subsequent islands, the student will solve an equation and move the ship to one of two possible locations. The equations are on cards located behind the islands, so he or she cannot just glance at the board to see all the equations. Ithaca is one of three islands with question marks on them. The student will not know whether he or she ended up at the correct island until everyone has completed their worksheets. At that time, the student can look on the back of the island to see if he or she got the right answer. For the purpose of our class, the answers are already there.

DIRECTIONS for USE: Your goal is to help Odysseus get home to Ithaca. To navigate his ship from Troy to a series of islands and then to Ithaca, you must solve a series of equations. Your challenge is that if you solve too many of the equations incorrectly, Odysseus will end up on an island of monsters.

Moving from right to left on the bulletin board, you will see a series of dotted lines that tell you which locations you can go to from your current location. For example, on Figure 1 to the right, starting at island A, you can move to either island B or island C.

The number on each island is a possible solution to the equation for the upstream island. The cards tucked behind the islands and Troy show the equations you must solve.


    1. Remove the card from the island/Troy to get the equation.
    2. Write the equation on your worksheet in the corresponding location.
    3. Solve the equation, showing your work.
    4. Look for your answer on one of the two downstream islands.
    5. Highlight the path you took to the next island with one of the colored pencils.
    6. Move Odysseus’ ship to the corresponding island.
    7. Replace the equation card.
    8. Repeat steps 1-7 until you reach one of the final islands (they have a ? on them). Make sure you have highlighted the path to the island on your worksheet. Then you have completed your journey.
    9. Remove your final island from the bulletin board and check the back of the island to see if Odysseus reached Ithaca (this step is omitted in the regular classroom).
    10. Return Odysseus’ ship to Troy.

TIME: 10-15 minutes

CREDIT: The bulletin board will be for extra credit.

Julia Marusiak