with the students the idea that in many books, as well as in most
testing situations, they have been given problems that they were asked
to solve. Here they will also get a chance to become the problem
The students will become reporters at the Super Bowl. One job of a
reporter is to write about what he or she sees. Explain that in this
activity they will look at some pictures taken at the game and will
write some math problems to go along with what they see in the pictures.
Distribute a copy of the Get the Picture—Get the Story Activity Sheet to each student.
Get the Picture—Get the Story Activity Sheet
Explain to the class that for each of the four pictures, the pair of
students is to create a math problem and write it in the spaces below the
Encourage the class to be creative in formulating their problems by
not necessarily writing down the first and easiest problem that comes
to minds. You can remind students that answers do not have to be numeric. Problems can involve creating graphs, equations, expressions, etc.
If students choose to create problems with numeric answers, encourage them to use a different operation, or an operation
in a different way, for each picture. This restriction will help avoid
having every group write a simple addition problem for each picture.
Alternatively, you can ask students to write
two different problems for each of the pictures (one with a numeric answer, and the other with a non-numeric answer).
After everyone has finished writing four problems, have each pair of
students get together with another pair (if even pairings do not
result, then you may need to form one group of six) to share their problems.
Once the students have compared their problems, ask, "How many of
you discovered that the other pair in your group wrote a different
problem for the picture than you did? What makes it different?" Take this opportunity to discuss how a picture, a diagram, a graph,
and the like, are often perceived differently by different people. Ask students to share a couple of problems and ask the class if they can word the same problem in a different way. This is an excellent time for students to develop the ability to build their mathematical communication skills (ex. the ability to recognize that "take x from y" is equivalent to "y minus x.").
After the class discussion, have students choose a problem (in their groups of 4 or 6) for each picture. Depending on the time remaining, have each group present one or more problems for the class to solve.