Real World Problems & Lessons

Below are problem based lesson, three act math tasks and activities I use with my classes. If you have never taught a lesson like these I suggest you start with Dan Meyer’s post or read through my Peek into My Classroom page. Feel free to use and edit these lessons. Click away and read about each lesson. 

New to Using 3 Act Math Tasks?

Download the 2-page printable 3 Act Math Tip Sheet to ensure that you have the best start to your journey using 3 Act math Tasks to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in your math classroom!

MMM Shot Put Algebra Unit

Shot Put

3 Act Math Lessons involving solving equations using equivalence and algebraic substitution and elimination to solve systems of equations.

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Scavenger Hunt

In this Scavenger Hunt 3 act math style unit of lessons, students will explore data management, mean as the great equalizer and bar graphs

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MMM Task - Wooly Worm Race - Featured Image

Wooly Worm Race

3 Act Math style unit of lessons involving represent, order, and compare fractional amounts based on the distances travelled by caterpillars

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MMM Unit - Snack Time - Featured Image copy

Snack Time!

Dividing whole numbers through partitive division resulting in a fractional amount & dividing ratios to reveal a rate 3 Act Math Tasks

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MMM Unit - Piggy Bank - Featured Image

Piggy Bank

Number talk and practice problem BLM handout exploring the relationship between fractions and decimals using the money model.

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The Make Math Moments 3-Part Framework Guidebook

How do you create a culture of engagement and participation in your math class to ensure students are leaning in to learn?

Then, once students are leaning in, how are we going to tackle new mathematical ideas in a way that builds the necessary conceptual understanding and develops procedural fluency over time?

Finally, how can we craft our lessons in such a way that every student can access the mathematical content and don’t throw their arms up in frustration?

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No Bikes Allowed

Students will use their understanding of pattering to bring about topics such as linear relations, rate of change, slope, and solving equations.

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Least Common Multiple

Hour Glass Multiples

In this 3-Act Task students will be presented with a puzzling video of 3 “hour glass” sand timers. Students will solve a brain-teaser like problem while ultimately learning about common multiples and the least common multiple (LCM).

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Modelling Data

Pumpkin Time-Bomb Activity

This fall themed activity asks students to predict how many rubber bands will implode a pumpkin. Use data collected from over 120 exploded pumpkins and create scatterplots to make predictions.

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linear relations

Turbo Texting

Students break out their devices and text away to discover the relationship between the length of a message and how long it takes to text it.

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Perimeter Jumble

This takes the classic maximizing the area of a rectangle problem and adds elements of curiosity and purposeful practice to help reveal the relationship.

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Solving Linear Equations

Pentomino Puzzles

A Hands-on activity is blended with interactive technology. Students begin with puzzles but ultimately create algebraic expressions and solve equations.

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Linear Systems

Two Trains…

The classic two trains are approaching each other problem without the trains. Students will solve a system of equations to determine the answer to this 3-Act Math Problem.

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Unit Rates

Fast Clapper

Let’s get a round of applause for this active lesson that asks students to use unit rates or proportions to see if they can beat the fastest clapper in the world.

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Dora to the Rescue

Finally teach collecting like terms and the distributive property with context! Find the perimeter and area of a counter top using only Doras!

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Polynomial Functions

Many Many Volumes

Crowd source the relationship between the volume of a box and the height of the box. Build boxes and use Desmos to investigate.

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A inquiry activity with a little competition. Who can get their car to the finish line closest without going over? Use lines of best fit

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New to Using 3 Act Math Tasks?

Download the 2-page printable 3 Act Math Tip Sheet to ensure that you have the best start to your journey using 3 Act math Tasks to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in your math classroom!


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