Escape From the Tomb Activity Packet
Before giving this activity to your students:
- Look through the Escape From the Tomb Activity Packet. Complete the packet in advance to familiarize yourself with the activity and questions.
- Assemble two bowls and springs, and attach them to something
hanging from the ceiling in front of classroom. One bowl should be
lower than the other. Measure the difference from the floor to the
bottom of each bowl.
- When doing this activity with less mature students, you
should assemble the bowl and spring and attach them to something
hanging from the ceiling (like a light fixture) prior to the class
period. That is, you may not wish to let all students assemble the
bowls by themselves. Each team of three students will need two bowls.
If marbles or bingo chips are not available, these items can be
substituted with any small object of uniform size and weight such as
paper clips, beads, pennies, dry beans, popcorn kernels, and so forth.
The only stipulation is that one item must be noticeably heavier than
If your class consists of advance algebra students, only give
them the first page of the activity packet, and allow them to figure
out a way to solve the problem with their teams.
The class should be divided into teams of three students. Each
student in the team should be assigned a job. One student is assigned
the position as recorder. She will record the data from the
experiments. The second student is assigned the position as measurer.
He will accurately measure the distance from the bottom of the
bowl to the floor (in centimeters). The third student is responsible
for placing items gently into the bowl.
If bowls and springs are assembled and hung from the ceiling
in advance, each team will only need a tape measure, three copies of
the activity packet, a calculator, a bag of bingo chips, and a bag of
marbles. If the bowls and springs are not assembled in advance, each
team will also need two bowls, two springs, string and scissors.
Read the problem out loud to your students. Ask a student to
describe the problem in his or her own words. (Note that to save paper,
you can choose not to distribute the first page of the activity packet
to students. Similarly, you can either not distribute the last page to
students, or you can withhold the last page until the end of the
lesson, when students need it.)
Explain to the students that you have two bowls set up in the
front of the classroom. Tell them, "This set‑up represents the baskets
in the Escape from the Tomb problem. After you have finished the
activity sheet, I will give you one bit of information, and you will
determine the number of items that must be placed in each bowl so that
they will be at the same height."
While the students are actively gathering and recording information,
circulate around the classroom. Randomly ask different teams to explain
how they arrived at their responses. If you are not satisfied with
their response, ask some probing questions, such as,
- What can you tell me about this line?
- How do the slope and y‑intercept relate to the problem situation?
- What is meant by "average displacement"?
Continue to question until you feel that they are making a connection. Visit each group at least once.
When ALL teams have completed Questions 1‑20, conduct a whole‑class discussion. Discuss questions such as:
- What was the purpose of this activity?
- What did you learn?
- Was it what you expected?
- Can you help Bart and Lisa solve their problem?
After the whole-class discussion, point to the two baskets that you
have hanging in front of the room. Give students the difference in
height between these two baskets, and tell them that they have only two
minutes (just like in the Escape From the Tomb game) to figure out how
many items should be placed in each basket. Allow students to begin
working, and while they are working, give an index card to each team.
At the end of two minutes, each team must write the names of their team
members as well as their answer on the card. Then, the cards should be
given to you. One by one, allow the teams to come to the front of the
room to test their solutions. The team(s) with the most accurate answer
can be given exact credit points or some other reward.
After the completion of the question about your baskets, read
the last question on the activity packet in the Solving The Game
section. Allow students to complete this question during the remainder
of the period, or as homework.
Questions for Students
Refer to the Instructional Plan.
- Was students’ level of enthusiasm and involvement high or low? Explain why.
- Was the lesson appropriately adapted for the diverse learner?
- How did the students demonstrate understanding of the material presented?
- Did you find it necessary to make adjustments while teaching
the lesson? If so, what adjustments, and were these adjustments