A Geometric Adventure

Last Friday, a day designated for test review, I decided to liven things up a bit. Instead of the traditional questions and answers in the classroom, I brought our class outside to the courtyard for a geometric scavenger hunt. (This is a class of 5 students so I thought it would be very easy to manage)

Each group was given a tape measure to use as needed. They used a flip video camera to videotape their clear explanation of each of the tasks. Each member of the group needed to explain at least ONE of the tasks. All calculations needed to be agreed upon by all members.

The groups needed to complete and videotape all 5 tasks and return to “home base”  (a.k.a. ME).  Groups were awarded points based on speed, accuracy, creativity and clarity of explanation. Each group member also received points for posting his/her reaction on our blog.

Here were the tasks:
TASK #1: Find an example of parallel lines. Explain how you know, for sure, that the lines are parallel.
TASK #2: Find an example of concentric circles. Explain what concentric circles are.

TASK #3: Find a rectangle. Calculate its area and its perimeter. Be sure to explain how you measured and your units.

TASK #4: Find an example of one of the four postulates we have studied thus far.
Postulate 1: Two points determine a unique line.
Postulate 2: If two distinct lines intersect, then their intersection is a point.
Postulate 3: Three noncollinear points determine a unique plane.
Postulate 4: If two distinct planes intersect, then their intersection is a line.

TASK #5: Act out an example of a conditional statement.
What is the hypothesis? What is the conclusion? Explain the statement in another way. Is it a true statement? What is it’s converse?

It was a beautiful day and the students were very excited! They set out to begin their mission.
The students started out well but, after about 10 minutes, I noticed one group having some trouble staying on task. One of the members of the group was distracted by the other students outside who were not in class. It was a problem I really didn’t plan on and I encouraged the group to continue working and spent time keeping other students away from them. Unfortunately, that group lost too much time and they were only able to complete 2 of the 5 tasks. Even still, group still thought the scavenger hunt was a positive experience and all expressed a desire to try it again.
Here are two of the videos:

Task #4  (Demonstration of Postulate 1: Two points determine a unique line.)

and Task #5 (Acting out a conditional statement)

When I viewed all videos, I was really excited. Even with a few issues and some frustration on the part of one group, the entire experience seemed very beneficial to all. (and a lot more exciting than sitting in class!) I also appreciated the feedback I got from student in the blog. I will definitely do this again!



  1. This is definitely Math in Action and the type of applications they may actually use in their careers and life! Cool way to integrate the tech and assess their understanding… in a natural, yet fun way!


  2. I love this kind of learning, especially because it involves a threatless collaboration to produce the final results. The practical application of class principles add a “laboratory” aspect to the delivery of data and concepts. Well-done! Tom Duffy


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