You may choose to project the Zipline Challenge and/or make a copy for each student. Begin class with the “Zipline Challenge” projected on your screen/whiteboard. I like to encourage students to initially discuss what they see without additional direction. If you would rather have students view this without any prior discussion, be sure to give directions before projecting the challenge! The directions I give are fairly straightforward. I ask each student to individually draw a sketch of what they think the problem is describing. Each student must decide what information is important to the sketch. (MP1, MP2) I use individual white boards for this. As I walk around, I can generally see which kids are struggling and ascertain what is confusing them with a few questions. I might say " Have you ever seen a real zipline? That's my youngest daughter sliding down a zipline in Oregon". If the student is unfamiliar with a zipline I can then explain it in greater detail. If that's not the problem I can continue asking questions about the design and structure. Most students who are confused seem to struggle with where to set up the angle of descent. If that's the case I can then give additional instruction immediately. When all students have finished their sketches I ask them to display their sketches at the front of class. I then ask different students to agree or disagree with the sketches, being careful not to judge or edit the responses. (MP3) Have each student make a good sketch for themselves, based on the class discussion. A possible sketch for this activity is on the second page of the handout labeled “Teacher Key”.
This final activity will help your students consolidate their understanding of applications of trig ratios. I give each student a notecard and ask them to number from 1 to 3. I then ask them to answer the following questions, using complete sentences.
I collect these notecards at the end of class and review them as an indicator of student understanding and also whether or not the flowchart was considered a helpful tool.