Planning a Party Using Function Tables

By Susan LoFranco on Apr 24, 2017

  • Given a function table containing at least 2 complete ordered pairs, identify a missing number that completes another ordered pair (limited to linear functions). 
  • Have students make a table consisting of the number of items in the independent variable column and the total cost of x items in the dependent variable column.


  • babysitting function tableReview Vocabulary with student:
    • Function is a relation in which every input is paired with exactly one output
    • Function Tables  display the relationship between the inputs and outputs of a specified function
    • Axis of a coordinate plane One of two perpendicular number lines called the x-zxis and the y-axis, used to define the location of a point in a coordinate plane (have graph paper to aid in review), x-axis the horizontal axis in a coordinate plane, y-axis the vertical axis in a coordinate plane
    • Linear Relationship is a relationship that describes the relationship between a Variable and a Constant which will form a straight line on a graph
  • With the student review and complete "The Babysitting Function Table" using the students media of choice to record the answers. 
  • If the student has difficulty understanding the concept of a function table it can be explained by relating it to a toaster.  (see above other tips & strategies)
  • Once the student is comfortable with completing the function table explain that he/she will be using function tables to help plan a party.  function tables and planning a party
  • Using the Function Tables and Planning a Party Worksheet attached have the student work independently, assisting only as needed.  
  • After the student has completed the pre-made worksheets, as part of the assessment, have the student consider what else might be needed and create another function table - or consider a per unit cost of each item (balloons, cupcakes and pizza) and calculate what the party will cost using a function table.  The student should make the choice.

party planning


If the student is having difficulty understanding the concept of a function and function table, relate it to a machine like a  toaster.  Bread is put into the toaster, the toaster gets to work and toast comes out.  Then move onto simple functions machines like an animal machine.    Figure out animals and number of legs.  1 cat = 4 legs, 2 cats ? legs, So when 1 cat goes into the function machine 4 legs come out, when two cats go in how many legs come out?  Then turn the function table around, giving student the number of legs and ask how many cats.
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