[Video] Why do we use x in algebra as the unknown?

Why do we use x in algebra as the unknown? I got asked this question today by some of my top set year 10, and I could see from their faces that they felt they had got me.

“Sir, why do we use x as the unknown in algebra”,  now they thought they had caught me  out when I said get on with your work and went to my machine. Little did they know that I was lining up a response to the question with this video.  The TED video below is very short but makes a great plenary or starter to a lesson on Algebra. It would be useful to have a discussion after the video to assess whether learners understood what the video was illustrating. Enjoy.

 

 

Posted in Lesson plenary, Lesson starters, Mathematics

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