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Friday, November 9, 2012

Oscar Winner -- Inquiry Project

And the winner of greatest blog visitor is...

Glitz, glamor and a 21st Century Math Project. These three things go together like peas, carrots and bubble yum. Utilize twenty years of Oscar winners (from 1990-2010) as a data set to guide your students through creating box and whisker plots, histograms, and exploring mean, median, and mode.

Name: Oscar Winner Inquiry Project
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (Basic statistics skills)
Math Concepts: Box and Whisker Plots, Histogram, Mean, Median & Mode and Stem and Leaf Plots
Interdisciplinary Connections: Film, Entertainment, Acting
Teaching Duration: 3-5 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $6 for a 13 Page PDF (1 inquiry project, 2 assignments with answer key) 
PDF Version: Oscar Winner @ TPT

The Product: An inquiry project asking students the question “Does the age of the award winning star in a film relate to the overall gross of the movie?”

They sure don't make 'em like Frank
Capra made 'em
Is an actor or actress more likely to win the Best Actor/Actress nod when they are older? What about younger? What is the range? Are actors in R rated movies more likely to win the Oscar? Students will explore these questions and more in this 21st Century Math Project.  Depending on your curriculum, this works well as a middle school math project and I have also used it for remediation at the high school level and as preparation for the high school state test. One thing is for sure, students will always have to read graphs so this really could serve as a refresher at all levels.

Although most middle and high school kids do not gravitate toward Academy Award Winning Performance, but instead to teen erotica vampirey – guy dress up like a girl is lolOMG!ZZ type of movies, I have found students are still into it. There are enough famous actors, actresses and movies that there’s still strong interest in the assignment.

Who is Julia Roberts? Was she that
substitute we had yesterday
EXTENSION: Well unfortunately, this 21st Century Math Project relies more on swagg than global relevancy. Fortunately the mathematical rigor is still there. So I’m ashamed to admit, there’s not a meaty extension that comes to mind. Perhaps you could suggest a student watch a film that you believe had an exceptionally great performance so they can appreciate great acting.

In a 21st Century Math Projects the mathematical rigor has to be there, but there is a scale between global competency and awesome swagg coolness. Typically I try to lean to global competency, but eh, you can’t win them all. 

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