To all of my colleagues at the GISD, here's the adaptations that I have made to the Barbie Bungee Jumping activity that we discussed in class.  There is a Power Point that I use with students, the student packet, and the original lesson plan with credit given to the original author of the lesson.  After watching the Dan Meyer videos, I'm sincerely thinking of changing it again.  This would be a great activity that could be "Meyer-ized".  What do you think?



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I thought your adaptations to this exercise were awesome!  I have been doing the barbie bungee for the past couple of years and have come up with my own changes; however, I truly loved how you provided the table and graph already.  I was searching for students to create their own way to solve this situation but it was far to difficult.  Thanks!

Aahhh.... a fan of NOT "Meyer-izing" the lesson.  Noted!  Thanks for your kind words... to  be fair, I stole and revised a lot from other adaptations found online. I hope it helps in your classroom!  I'd love to hear of any suggestions you might have for making it even BETTER!  :)

Barbie Bungee Jumping completed this week.  I actually ended up letting the students work through the packets.  4 out of the 7 groups I had breezed through the assignment, and they had their predictions ready right on time, and they were quite accurate.  Barbie's head only hit the ground a couple of times.  They had a great time recognizing that all of the math they were learning actually had a use (not that they'd ever actually throw Barbie off of a stairwell balcony).  The conversations were rich, students were completely on task, the principal even came in for a quick peek when I mentioned what we were doing.... ended up staying for the majority of the hour.


Check out my blog.... I completely missed a "teachable" moment with one of the groups that was struggling!  UGH!  


My next step is to try a similar project, this time taking away the packet that was used as a guide with Barbie Bungee Jumping... allowing students to construct their own problem through a Dan Meyer strategy.  It should be a great connection - they've had a scaffolding experience where they had the Barbie Packet to guide them this time.  Next week, they'll have less support... forcing them to work with group members to problem solve.

Has anyone tried a Dan Meyer-type lesson yet?


I couldn't read your title without laughing so you got my attention.  I went online to find videos and relationships between bungee jumping and math and science and saw other Barbie Bungee Jumping (BBJ) lessons.  I was impressed with your adaptations particularly the power point presentation you included.  It is clear, concise, and has a professional look.  Your packet is detailed and easy to read and use.  I'm not familiar with Dan Meyer so I can't give you any input about "Meyer-izing".

I plan to use the BBJ with my ninth grade Algebra class.  I have the ten lowest ninth grade students that are on the diploma track and IEP'd in the areas of Math Calculation and Math Reasoning .  I will use this after we spend some time plotting, predicting, and using our calculators to explore the graphs of linear functions.  I will make a few adjustments to the assignment.  They are:  

*I'll assign finding short clips of bungee jumping as a homework assignment to my students prior to this assignment.

*We'll use their clips to begin the lesson.

*I'll have the students measure in inches instead of centimeters 

*I will have one group use Barbie and another group use a Coach Herrington Bobble Head (He's our beloved football coach of 41 years) and have the students compare their outcomes.  This will provide an opportunity for us to compare and contrast data between the groups and make predictions based on the data.


Glad you got a good laugh out of Barbie!  It has been my students' favorite lesson of the year, consistently, for the past two years.  You adaptations sound fabulous, and throwing in the Bobble Head for good measure will certainly keep the class interested!  Be sure to let us know how the lesson went!  :)

I have been thinking about trying this lesson and came across this post.  Have other teachers had the same difficulties as expressed here?


Thank you for sharing. I did this two weeks ago and it was a hit. Students under estimated their rubber bands so none of the dolls hit the ground. I thought for sure I would have a group that would secretly try to hit the ground but every one to this seriously.


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