Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3 Act Story Problems

I'd never really thought of a story problem as being similar to a three act story.  Maybe it's because I'm horrible at writing stories!  But after reading examples on blogs such as Mr. Piccini's Mathtabulous Site and A Recursive Process, I think that volume problems in Geometry naturally lead to this type of set-up.

I taught Geometry again this past year, but this was the first year in a long time where I got to teach the second half of the material, which happens to be the half  in our curriculum with Volume and Measurement.  In fact, I think I've done a few "starter" or "warm-up" problems that could easily be rewritten into 3-act lessons.

For instance, I have done "which is larger?" problems in the past.  Here's an example of a problem I wrote and gave to my class as a warm-up earlier this spring.  This problem could easily be set up as a 3-act story problem.  I'm certain the students would be much more engaged if I gave the set-up first, added the information and back-story, then finally gave the "reveal" at the end.  I was intrigued by the idea of adding a "sequel" as well, or letting the students come up with their own math problems.

If I'm teaching Geometry this year, I'll definitely add some problems like these to my curriculum!

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