How many regular bears equals the super bear?

Ontario Grade Levels:
Common Core Grade Levels:

Shared By:
Dan Meyer

Math Topic:
Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.

Ontario Curriculum Alignment:

Common Core State Standard Alignment:

Super-Bear 3 Act Math Task Summary

Connecting Ratios, Rates & Proportions to Linear Equations

The Super Bear 3 Act Math Task by Dan Meyer was one of the first 3 act math tasks I had attempted after being introduced to this innovative approach to teaching math. While I enjoyed using this task and sharing it out to my colleagues at professional development sessions, I found that many had questions with regards to how they could stretch this task out to more than one learning goal. I’ve tried to provide some suggestions via a Super Bear Task Template that could be useful when trying this task for the first time.

Act 1: Introducing the Task

Show the students the first clip:

Get your students thinking about some possible questions they might have. While a number of different questions are likely, we are going to try to go in the direction of determining:

How many mini-bears (and regular bears) would it take to make a super bear?

Act 2: Give Some Information

After deciding on a question to answer and asking students what information they might need/want, they can then check out these videos:

Weight of 10 Mini-Bears

Weight of 1 Super Bear

I usually have students focus on mini-bears first, then we talk about regular bears. Also gives an opportunity for some “practice’ working with ratios/rates and equations after consolidating the first question. When ready, you can show students this:

Weight of 10 Regular Bears

After students have discussed with a neighbour, I give them a task template to help them organize their thinking:

Super Bear 3 Act Math Task Template Screenshot 1

Super Bear 3 Act Math Task Template Screenshot 2

Task Template

The intention of the task template is to try and model the interconnectedness of mathematics and in particular, between ratios/rates/proportions and linear relations. I use this task early in the year and thus a lot of scaffolding techniques are used. I personally aim to gradually release the responsibility to my students as we engage in proportional reasoning problems throughout the year.

Act 3: Watch the Solutions

Number of mini-bears

Number of regular bears

Check out the original task by Dan as well as his sequel here.

Originally Created & Shared By: Dan Meyer
License: CC-BY 3.0

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