Thursday, September 8, 2016

Scripting Word Problems
Combining Theatre, Wrtiting and Math into one awesome lesson.

Math, my least favorite subject. I do not like math, when we had to take math in college I literally took a class that was nicknamed among the Fine Arts students as "math for actors and their goldfish." I do not like math, but I realize that I and my students need to be exposed to more math. So I am trying to step outside my comfort zone for some of my assignments this year.
Students love turning Math word problems into scripts. 

Last week my third grade students were working on elements in a script. They learned the parts of a script and how to compose simple scenes. Then it came time for the closing assignment. Students had to form groups of three and write a script. Typically I just let students pick their topics, but as I said I'm trying to push myself this year. So I walked myself down to the math teacher to see what they ere studying in math. Turns out in math my students were studying two things (oh good more challenge!) 

The students were studying 100s grouping and greater than less than. So when we set about creating our scripts they had a choice in topics.

Here is how I organized this lesson. I am including my instructions and one of my student's scripts. I will also link to my TPT store for the rubric download for acting and rehearsing.
Basic Theatre Rubrics

1. Choose a standard- students needed to choose what type of math problem they wanted to solve.
2. Write your numerical math expression- I am not sure if this is the correct terminology but basically have your students write and solve the math problem they want to tell a story about (7 groups of 100=700 or 27>25). If you want to control how hard a problem you give, you could also assign them a problem from a textbook or worksheet.
3. Brianstorm your story- this is where we start integrating in story elements students had to write out their characters, setting, and conflict. Beginning, middle, end, etc
4. Rough draft of script- have students write out their script. To help ease problems I make sure to tell them that each student is responsible for writing their own lines. Helps stop a lot of fights.
5. Check your math- this is a very important step that I skipped when I first was assigning this problem. Students sometimes get so excited writing their script, that their math goes wonky. 1,200 becomes 12000 or something else. Just make sure they go back and double check the math.
6. Rehearse the play- remind students about finding entrances and exits and useing levels to create stage pictures.
7. Perform the play- let students perform the plays and have the audience solve the math problems. 

I love how they use stage directions and that one of the characters makes a mistake in the math. These scripts don't have to be long, they just need to solve the problem!

Well this is my idea for math word problem scripts. I love that this assignment integrates math, writing and theatre. It was a great way to get some cross curricular lessons for my kids. I hope you will give them a try! Let me know if they worked out for you! What math problems did your kids solve?