Monday, July 15, 2013

Snail's Pace

Last post, I shared a lesson (Woody's Raise) that included both Act 1 and Act 3. I asked you all to collaborate and design Act 2. Many of you came through like champs in the comments.

For this post, I only have an Act 1, leaving Act 2 even more open-ended. I'll admit, I only have Act 1 because I haven't invested the time necessary for Act 2 and Act 3. Here's my current Act 1.

I thought of this lesson many months ago while out walking in the morning, but wanted to capture it on video... no joke. So until that time actually comes along, I'll give you what I envisioned for Act 1, the video version. We start with Bill Conti's Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) as we take a couple close-up shots of the snail. The camera pans out to a bird's eye view of the snail starting at one side of the sidewalk, letting time elapse for about 15-20 seconds.

Back to the picture of the snail who has an increasingly long road ahead of him. I notice that he isn't taking the shortest path to the other side. I notice that there aren't any other snails to avoid. I notice the sidewalk is wet. I wonder what his path will be. Will his path be linear? curved? circular? other? I wonder what his rate will be. I wonder what the dimensions of the sidewalk are. I wonder if the Pythagorean Theorem could be used here. What do you wonder?

Head over to Dan Meyer's and enter a question (or skip it) so you can see my Teacher Notes for Act 2. You might need to log in. Thanks to Ignacio Mancera for linking a site with Speed of Animals. This will help assist our Act 2 adventure.

Here's what I have so far if you can't get into 101qs.

What initial conversation(s) would you have with students?
How would you have students work with Act 2 information (dimensions, rate of snail)?
Is this a waste of time?
Should we (I) shelf this idea for now? (or even toss it in the trash can?)



  1. What initial conversation(s) would you have with students?

    Well, I'd probably start this the way I would normally: what do you notice/wonder, or what questions do you have. Maybe it'd be fun to do this one "at a snails pace" haha. Get them to think individually, then share with the group, then with the class.

    I'd probably see what the class is most excited about, and then focus in on that conversation. I have some predictions for what that conversation would lead to.

    How would you have students work with Act 2 information (dimensions, rate of snail)?

    Just a thought - why don't I bring in a snail? I am picturing a box, and I will put food on the other side (some sort of fruit/edible leaf). Show the video/picture, then show the kids the snail. The snail will be on one end, the food on the other. Kids are only allowed to come to the snail if they know exactly what they want to record with respect to act 2...etc

    Is this a waste of time?

    I don't think so. And if it is, then even better. What better time to talk about time than a creature that is commonly associated with time?!

    Should we (I) shelf this idea for now? (or even toss it in the trash can?)

    Hmm... this got me to think about putting the snail in the trash can. Would it climb up vertically? Climb down? Go around in a circle? I think this idea is worth exploring.

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