What’s Your Million-Dollar Idea?

The objective of this lesson is to teach students how to create their own business plans. On the popular television show Shark Tank, entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of investors in hopes of obtaining investments in their businesses. For this lesson, students think of a product or idea that they believe will be marketable to the public and write up a business plan for it.

What’s This Really About? Identifying and interpreting symbolism in film

A symbol is a person, place, or object that represents meaning for something other than itself. Symbolism in film is what gives a movie layers and can turn a blockbuster or box office flop into a cult classic that is debated and discussed for decades. It’s not always easy to identify symbolism and underlying themes in a film or TV show and sometimes may take a couple viewings. Check out these slightly edited movie scenes that give a more obvious interpretation of their underlying message. Students can go over these images in class to demonstrate their ability to interpret meaning in a story’s plot and overall theme.

Law & Order, Evidence, and Persuasive Essay Writing

This lesson uses scenes of closing arguments from the popular television show Law & Order to help students understand the importance of using evidence to support stances and arguments in their writing. Students then participate in mock court case to better understand the significance of using evidence to support arguments in writing.

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What are your odds of surviving a zombie apocalypse?

In the cliffhanger Season 6 finale of the Walking Dead, the group once again got themselves into a terrible situation that is definitely going to end with one of them dying. And this won’t be the last time. It seems like Rick can’t get it together. This got us wondering, “Could we do better?”

We built mathematical projections for zombie survival strategies and ran the numbers, and came up with the quiz below. Check it out and see how your personal zombie survival plan will work out.

Turns out that no, none of us would do better than Rick. By our count, of people who followed Rick’s lead, about 4% are still alive. 4% is almost double the maximum survival project in our model (1.9%).  Rick defied not just the odds, but also the basic realities of the U.S. food and ammo supplies and the extreme difficulty of just walking down a city street. He might have seemed like an idiot in Season 1 (and also Season 2, and arguably about half the episodes in Season 3), but you can’t argue with results.

In the lesson below, students will  learn how we arrived at our quiz’s model, and make a model of their own to predict additional zombie survival strategies.

Ratios, Fractions, and Percentages with Finn from Adventure Time

The goal of this lesson is to introduce ratios and different ways of representing them using a picture of Finn’s many moods from the show Adventure Time. Students can also learn how to calculate percentages using ratios represented as fractions during this lesson.

Save the Twinkies!

In this lesson, students will write a letter to Hostess in hopes to resume production of Twinkies and have everyone settle their differences. In November of 2012, CEO of Hostess Brands Gregory Rayburn announced that they would be closing business, which meant the end for Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, and other products. This was due to the issue that the Bakers union and Mr. Rayburn were unable to come to an agreement.

The Friendship Algorithm: How to scientifically choose your friends

Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PhD from the Big Bang Theory has come up with a hypothesis that may have revealed the formula to friendship, have your students learn about algorithms and see if they can crack the code to life’s biggest questions.

Flowcharts are used by coders and programmers in the tech startup and app development industry to graphically depict the algorithms the programmers want to convert to code. Students will view the example provided and attempt to produce their own algorithms to gain a basic understanding of programming and idea mapping.