**TEAM BUILDING Lesson:**

This team building activity is for the beginning of the school year as I introduce the idea of critical thinking skills in the math classroom. I would organize my groups within my classroom in groups of 4 people. This is called the Paper Tower Challenge. Each group is given:

- 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper
- 40 centimeters of tape
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 pencil
- 1 – 12 inch ruler

The goal of the group is to build the tallest tower. The one rule is that the tower can not be taped on the desk or wall. Each member of the group is responsible for a certain supply to make sure that all are participating. For example, one person is in charge of the tape and they are the only one who can distribute out the tape. At the end of this activity, we discuss what it looks like to work well as a group and what qualities should always be included in group work.

Here is an example you could show the class when they are FINISHED with their. (I wouldn’t show it before hand or they may try to just copy this idea)

**COLLABORATIVE LESSON (Statue of Liberty):**

I used the CO-OP CO-OP model for this activity. We have been working a lot with proportions in my 7th grade class as well as scale factor before this activity/lesson is introduced. Students are NOT told to use Proportions in this lesson as they can use any strategy that they would. However, most students end up using proportions in this.

**Student Centered Discussion**

- We begin this activity by a picture of the Statue of Liberty is placed up on the Smart Board
- We will do a See, Think, Wonder before we begin class discussion
- What is it that you See?
- What do you think about the Statue of Liberty?
- What do you wonder about the Statue of Liberty and how it is created?

- We will talk about what we know about the Statue of Liberty and how we think Math plays into the creation of the Statue of Liberty.
- Then the question is posed (1)
**“If I know that the Statue of Liberty has a nose that is 4ft, 6 inches long, find the length of her pinky finger, how tall she is, and the length of her right arm.” (2) How does this compare to another well known statue?**

**Team Selection**

- All groups will be focusing on question (1) with the Statue of Liberty. Then, the other well known statues they will be looking at are listed below. Students will form groups based on the other statue that they are interested in.
- Marianne in Jonzac

- Mount Rushmore

- Christ the Redeemer

- Great Sphinx

- Lincoln Memorial

**Separation and Delegation of Work**

- Each group will be focusing on 2 different body parts of the Statue of Liberty. Research will have to be closely monitored as we don’t just want them googling what the lengths are and writing them down. There has to be mathematical proof to their answers that they come up with. They are allowed to look up the history and other background knowledge if they would find that to be helpful.
- Once they find their measurements for the Statue of Liberty, they will then compare these measurements to the statue that they chose. They will need to find the scale factor of how much bigger or smaller the Statue of Liberty is to the other statue. They are allowed to do research on the other statue.

**Presentation:**

- Each group will be responsible for presenting their findings to the class, whether that is in poster board form, Google Slides, and other resources.

**Evaluations:**

- Students will be evaluated on their presentations, their collaboration as a group, and their mathematical calculations. This project will be worth 25 points (10 on presentation, 10 on Mathematical calculations, and 5 on their collaboration as a group).

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Thanks Amy for the link! That will be great and a wonderful addition to the problem. As far as research based, when I have done problems like this in the past, students know that the math has to back up their answer. So even if I a group somehow finds the answer without me seeing them do so, all their math work has to be able to back up the answer (which would be pretty impossible to do because of the nature of this problem). Great question as it is something I struggle with as well.

Kristyn –

Nice job on the lessons! I like the change (from the version proposed on the discussion board) to Co-op Co-op group selections based off their choice of companion statue. For this particular problem, I think that will lead to more balanced groups. I’m still a big fan of trying the sort by proposed strategy for solving the problem, but maybe try it on a problem where there are more diverse default solutions that students might think of.

Amy’s suggestion (in the previous comment) about generating math discussions off of the tower activity is really good, too. I’d be curious to hear what students consider for the best way to calculate the height of the tallest possible tower. Could be interesting in a 7th grade classroom where their math background is still pretty “basic.”

Thanks! Yes Angie I agree that it would be great to do a problem where the students can form groups based on how they want to solve the problem (where it is a problem that you can solve in many different mathematical strategies)

Kristyn,

Nice job on your lessons! I like that you are giving students a research project as part of their proportions unit – such a great way to connect the concept to real world scenarios. Question, how will you be monitoring student research so they don’t just look up measurements? I’ve run into similar problems with projects and always struggle with letting students have internet freedom and how to monitor it.

Also, for your team building lesson, during the discussion, it could be a great transition into math class to ask some critical thinking questions during the discussion such as:

-Why couldn’t we make our tower taller?

-What is the best way to calculate the tallest possible height of our tower?

-Is there more than one way to make the tallest tower?

Heres a link to a website where a teacher listed all of the possible math connections to the challenge. Pretty neat how vast they can be! https://www.tame.org/news/entry/tame-engineering-adventure-paper-tower