Watermelons! Watermelons Everywhere!
WARNING: WHEN DEALING WITH WATERMELON CATAPULTS, LEARN PHYSICS FIRST!
People like to send me jokes, memes, gifs etc., about math because, well, it’s a kind of defense mechanism. A lot of people have a bad relationship with math, so laughing about it makes it better. I’ve had a tendency to shrug off most of these because I’ve very likely seen and/or heard all the math jokes before. Well, for #MakeItReal Moment Number 3, I realized that these jokes are more than just defense mechanisms, they’re opportunities to learn and to engage our students!
Here’s what I got the other day.
It’s funny because it’s true.
But instead of shrugging it off, I asked some kids about it because I figured…someone was wondering “WHY?”
Here are some responses.
- Is he a chef making something for a huge party?
- Is he starting a watermelon farm?
- Maybe she owns a grocery store and is just stocking up!
See!?! You want to know who wonders “why” to things like this? Kids do. Give them a chance to talk it out.
What are three ways you could use this moment in your classroom to add relevance to a lesson?
I am working on volume with my 7th graders. If I tell them the length of one side of the container, how many watermelons could it hold?
Excellent! But let them look at the picture first until they figure out that they need to know the length of one side. THEN provide them that info. If you give it to them first, then it’s not an interesting problem about watermelons, it’s just arithmetic.
Also…if you’ve ever been to a store, they often don’t have the bins filled because the bottom ones get crushed, so there’s something inside part of the way up. If you find a picture of that one, it’s a great follow up question. Let me know how it goes!