Reflection: Problem-based Approaches Zombies: Exploring Exponential Growth - Section 2: Investigation


While students were acting out the activity in this lesson I wanted them to be making predictions so they could start to see the patterns that emerged.  Rather than using the idea with the red dot, I organized the activity in a slightly different way.  I stood on one side of the room (1 infected) and had my students all stand on the other side.  Then I told them to walk across the room.  When they did, I would walk across in the opposite direction and tag one student who would then be infected with the virus.  That infected student would stay on the other side of the room with me (2 infected).  We would then repeat the activity, but now, both me and the student would walk in the opposite direction and each tag one other student who would now be infected (4 infected).  We continue the activity until all students are infected.

After the first two rounds, I asked students to think about how many students would be infected in the next round.  I had students do a quick Think-Pair-Share where they are standing and I listen in to see if they are starting to see the pattern.  We did this after the fifth round as well to allow students to process the situation they were acting out.  This really helped students to see how the number of infected people grew more slowly at first but then more rapidly as the activity went on.  As an additional aid, you could show students the Youtube video below.  It helps to show how the growth rate of an exponential situation increases over time.

Source Url: (accessed June 19, 2014)

  Problem-based Approaches: Making Predictions
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Zombies: Exploring Exponential Growth

Unit 7: Exponential Functions
Lesson 4 of 13

Objective: SWBAT generate an exponential function based on a set of data. SWBAT determine if growth is linear or exponential.

Big Idea: By acting out exponential growth students will realize how quickly the dependent variable can increase in an exponential model.

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