Make Math Moments Academy › Forums › Full Workshop Reflections › Module 2: Engaging Students Using Problems That Spark Curiosity › Lesson 24: How to transform textbook problems into captivating tasks › Lesson 24 Question & Sharing › Reply To: Lesson 24 Question & Sharing

What problem did you choose?
A 30 foot tree casts a shadow of 12 feet. What is the length from tip of tree to the shadow tip?
How did you change it?
Show pictures of 3 or 4 trees casting shadows. Ask students what they notice and wonder. Have students partner share notice and wonder and then share to class. (why are all the tree shadows going left? why do I care about tree shadows? What do you need the shade for? What are you going to do under the trees? There are only 2 trees… we need more trees to have shade. Are all the trees the same height? How far does that shadow go now? Does it change. I wonder if we can make a zip line?)
Ask students what they need in order to make a zip line. (the supplies: wire, stake, ladder to get to top, etc)
Ask students to estimate the length of zip line. (students may state that they do not have enough information and then students may discuss what is needed.)
Inform students that the height of the one tree is 30 feet. (students may then discuss what else is needed to make a zip line to the shadow tree tip). Allow discussion and guide students to ask for additional measurement. (If I am lucky a student may recall something learned about a triangle.) Provide the shadow length and for practical purposes allow students to work with the right triangle concepts.
Ask for updated estimations. Allow students to work in pairs to come up with answers. (hopefully closer estimations).