Wednesday 20 July 2011

Lobster Fishing

It's almost the end of term for most of us, and pupils start to expect "fun lessons" instead of lessons involving actually learning anything. Of course, showing a DVD is unacceptable, unless it's related to your subject. When I was at school not so long ago, we always watched films on the last day of every term, except for in maths, which would generally be a normal lesson. We were always outraged!

What you need on the last day of term is something that is undeniably "mathsy", but still seems like a treat. For me, that absolutely has to be Lobster Fishing. I can't remember where I got hold of the PowerPoint and worksheet that I use for this activity, but google it and you'll find loads of different versions, so you can pick and choose.

It goes like this: pupils, working individually or in pairs, are given six lobster pots at the start, and £50. They have to decide where to place their pots: in shore or off shore. Depending on the weather (decided by rolling a die) the two locations give different amounts.

If you think I haven't explained it very well, that's because there are loads of different rules you could add in and loads of different ways of doing it. You can adjust how complicated it is to suit the class.

I used this activity with year 8 set 1, and they absolutely loved it. It very nicely fills a whole hour without anyone getting bored. You can spend some time at the end reflecting on the best strategies to use. You can get them to work out the EMV for each strategy if you feel like going into game theory (somehow I always feel like going into game theory, because I love it. My pupils love it too now!)

So if you're stuck for ideas for the last day of term, give lobster fishing a go. Then let me know how it went :)

Emma x x x

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