This Variable Machine lesson plan also includes:
What a fantastic way to teach your pre-algebra class about variables! All you need is two strips of paper per student to create "variable machines." They write the alphabet on one strip, and number zero-25 down the other, wrapping each into a circle. Placing the number strip around the outside of the letter strip, they can match up letters to numbers. Groups find values of first and last names, and experiment with rotating their "machines" for higher scores.