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Curriculum Level: 9-12

By Angela Love Moser from Innovation Early College High School

OVERVIEW OF LESSON: Students will work in pairs to research a chosen UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) that will become the thematic basis of a mini-golf course hole. As a group, students will complete an entire UNSDG-themed mini-golf course that focuses on all 17 UNSDGs. Each hole will include a description, which will be written in proper MLA format, and include the research the students conducted. The holes will also be designed using mathematical and scientific principles, such as velocity and angles. This lesson incorporates, STEM, math, English, social studies, science, and AVID standards and could be modified for any grade level.

*Special Note: This lesson was designed to be co-taught with an English teacher and a Math teacher, though one teacher who is comfortable with the Math and English elements could teach it.

SUGGESTED GRADE LEVELS: High school (but can be modified for lower grade levels)

SUBJECTS: Math, English, AVID 


Math II

NC.M2.G-CO.2: Experiment with transformations in the plane. • Represent transformations in the plane. • Compare rigid motions that preserve distance and angle measure (translations, reflections, rotations) to transformations that do not preserve both distance and angle measure (e.g. stretches, dilations). • Understand that rigid motions produce congruent figures while dilations produce similar figures.

NC.M2.G-CO.3: Given a triangle, quadrilateral, or regular polygon, describe any reflection or rotation symmetry i.e., actions that carry the figure onto itself. Identify center and angle(s) of rotation symmetry. Identify line(s) of reflection symmetry.

NC.M2.G-SRT.4: Use similarity to solve problems and to prove theorems about triangles. Use theorems about triangles to prove relationships in geometric figures. • A line parallel to one side of a triangle divides the other two sides proportionally and its converse. • The Pythagorean Theorem.

NC.M2.G-SRT.8: Use trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean theorem to solve problems involving right triangles in terms of a context.

NC.M2.G-SRT.12: Develop properties of special right triangles (45-45-90 and 30-60-90) and use them to solve problems.

English IV

RI.11-12.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

RI.11-12.5: Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

RI.11-12.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

RI.11-12.10: By the end of grade 12, read and understand informational texts at the high end of the 11-12 text complexity band proficiently and independently for sustained periods of time. Connect prior knowledge and experiences to text.

W.11-12.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. a. Organize information and ideas around a topic to plan and prepare to write. b. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting, graphics, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. c. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.

W.11-12.4: Use digital tools and resources to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

W.11-12.5: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.11-12.6: Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

SL.11-12.2: Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

SL.11-12.5: Make strategic use of digital media in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


    • Student Empowerment
      • 1. Act as a globally and digitally aware, responsible, and contributing citizen
      • 6. Develop, demonstrate, and maintain motivation 
      • 7. Self-monitor and seek help when necessary 
      • 8. Demonstrate persistence, flexibility, and adaptability 
    • Inquiry
      • 1. Use questioning techniques to engage in discussions and think critically about content and concepts
      • 3. Upon arriving at a solution, identify generalized steps/processes that could be used to solve similar problems 
      • 10. Cite evidence and support claims 
      • 11. Present research findings, customizing the presentation for the intended audience
    • Collaboration
      • 1. Share responsibility among group members 
      • 2. Work productively and effectively in diverse teams with diverse perspectives 
      • 3. Establish and maintain relational capacity with others 
      • 4. Respect individual contributions 


  • How can I utilize mathematical and scientific principles, such as slope, angles, and velocity, to design a mini-golf hole?
  • How can I utilize research skills, such as finding credible and reliable sources, using MLA formatting, and integrating evidence to support claims, when describing a mini-golf hole?
  • How can I apply my knowledge of a UNSDG to create a themed mini-golf course hole that clearly reflects the goal?
  • How can I turn a scale drawing of a mini-golf hole into a scale model of the mini-golf hole using LEGO?


  1. Students will be able to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design of a challenging mini-golf hole.
  2. Students will be able to apply research skills, such as finding credible and reliable sources, using MLA formatting, and integrating evidence to support claims, when writing a description of a UNSDG-themed mini-golf hole.
  3. Students will be able to apply their knowledge of an UNSDG to create a UNSDG-themed hole that clearly reflects the goal.
  4. Students will be able to work collaboratively, with peers, teachers, and guests, towards a shared goal of designing a UNSDG-themed mini-golf hole. Students will be able to work collaboratively with a larger group to design an entire UNSDG-themes mini-golf course.
  5. Students will be able to create a scale drawing of their mini-golf hole and turn it into a scale model of their mini-golf hole using LEGO.



  1. Show students presentation to pique their interest and introduce the project.
  2. As a group, have students review the 17 goals and brainstorm issues/topics associated with each goal.
  3. In pairs, students will choose a UNSDG they would like to focus on for this project.
  4. Once students choose the UNSDG they will focus on, they will be placed in a thematic grouping – these groupings are up to the teacher, but here is an example:
    1. Grouping 1: 1. No Poverty; 2. Zero Hunger; 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
    2. Grouping 2: 3. Good Health and Well-Being; 4. Quality Education; 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
    3. Grouping 3: 5. Gender Equality; 10. Reduced Inequalities; 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; 17. Partnerships for the Goals
    4. Grouping 4: 7. Affordable and Clean Energy; 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
    5. Grouping 5: 12. Responsible Consumption and Production; 13. Climate Action; 14. Life Below Water; 15. Life on Land
  5. Students will work in pairs to research the UNSDG they chose. They will need to share this research with their grouping as well as use it to help them design their UNSDG mini-golf hole. Students should keep track of their sources, as they will use them later in their written description.
  6. Students will work in pairs to design a mini-golf hole based on their chosen UNSDG, but they will also need to work within their grouping to ensure that the grouping is designed thematically. For example, grouping 4 from above may decide that they all want to include a type of renewable energy source, like a windmill, solar energy, or hydropower.
    1. This part of the project will require a lot of math and design, so it might be a good idea to partner with a math teacher if needed. Students will need to plan their holes so that the angle of the putt shot will help the player get the ball in the hole. These skills are explained in the background information section of this lesson plan.
    2. Students will draw a detailed diagram of their mini-golf hole, including the angles of the putt shots and the ideal path the ball can travel. *This is a great time to take the students on a field trip to a local mini-golf course if possible. *
    3. When students have completed their drawings, they should be submitted and approved before moving on with the project, especially if they are choosing to complete the LEGO section of this assignment. Conference with students during this step; revisions or approvals will be provided during conference.
    4. Upon approval, students should write a description of their mini-golf hole and how it relates to the UNSDG it was designed around. They will also explain how their mini-golf hole was designed, specifically what steps they took to create the final project. 
  7. LEGO Mini-Golf: If teachers can have their students also create LEGO mini-golf holes, then the students will use their designs as the blueprint to create their LEGO mini-golf holes. Students will need to work with their groupings to ensure that they work together thematically. For example, students may choose a color theme to help connect their mini-golf holes.


  • Students will be assessed on:
    • Written description of mini-golf hole that integrates research and includes MLA formatting.
    • Design of mini-golf hole and how it reflects the corresponding UNSDG theme.
    • Their use of mathematical and scientific principles to design their hole; these should be displayed using yarn.


  • Students can take a field trip to a local mini-golf course and get a tour from someone who works there that can help explain how mini-golf holes are designed mathematically. 
  • Students can create stop-animation videos of their LEGO golfers playing through their hole while using geometry. *These could also be shared on social media or YouTube.
  • Students can host a student showcase for parents, other people at school, and community members to tour their course.
  • Students can create life-size version of their mini-golf holes that can really be played.
  • After completing their own projects, students could work with younger students to help them design mini-golf holes based on the UNSDGs.


  • Art Supplies: Paper, colored pens/pencils/markers, ruler
  • Technology: Computer/tablet with Internet access
  • **Optional: LEGO to create models