In preparation for class, you will want to choose and preview an episode of The Biggest Loser
that you will show to your class. During the weigh-in, record the
contestants' names, starting weights, and current weights on a master
copy of the Who Lost More Activity Sheet. Then, make copies for your students.
Who Lost More Activity Sheet
Introduce the idea of weight loss by playing a clip from the beginning of The Biggest Loser
episode you chose. Explain that the contestants are trying to lose more
weight than the others. Pass out the Who Lost More activity sheet. Have
students complete Question 1. Ask students to volunteer their answers.
Record their choices and how they determined that the contestant lost
the most on the Who Lost More? Overhead.
Who Lost More? Overhead
Students might subtract the new weight from the starting
weight, find percent decrease, find the percent of the current weight,
or just compare the weights of the contestants.
If no student suggests using percent change, ask, "How else can we
determine who lost the most weight? Some people might say that ______
lost the most weight. Why do you think they say that?" Ask the
students, "What about people who had different starting weights?"
Have students work in small groups. Let each group choose a
calculation method other than percent decrease to determine the amount
of weight loss for each contestant. Each group should complete
Play a clip of the contestants weighing in at the end of the
episode. As a contestant stands on a scale, the weight and percentage
of weight lost that week is also displayed. Have students answer
Ask, "How do you calculate percent decrease?" Have the students work
in their groups to create a formula. Ask several students to share
their formulas and list them on the board. Be sure everyone has a
correct formula, equivalent to
100 × (old weight – new weight) / old weight
Have students complete Questions 4–6 by calculating the weight loss using their own method and the percent decrease.
After students complete Question 7, ask, "Which method do you think
is the most fair for determining weight loss?" Allow students to vote
for their preferred method and tally the votes on the board. Once the
votes are tallied, ask students why they chose certain methods. Invite
classroom discussion on which methods work and which don't work. Have
students explain their answers.