Select Page

Walk Out

Introducing Distance-Time Graphs & Graphing Stories

This 3 act math task was created as a simple, yet powerful way to introduce distance-time graphs and other various graphs of linear and non-linear relationships between two variables. In particular, I’m looking to address the following specific expectations from the grade 9 math courses in Ontario:

• LR4.02 – describe a situation that would explain the events illustrated by a given graph of a relationship between two variables (Sample problem: The walk of an individual is illustrated in the given graph, produced by a motion detector and a graphing calculator. Describe the walk [e.g., the initial distance from the motion detector, the rate of walk].);

Task 1, Act 1 – Introduce the Problem

Show this video.

Ask students what they wonder? What questions come to mind?

Write down some of the questions/ideas that students share.

Task 1, Act 2 – Give Some Information

Show this video.

Students are now given the distance of the walk and the amount of time it took me to walk the distance.

By now, either students will have come to the conclusion or you can share the question that we’re hoping to begin with:

What does the distance-time graph look like of my walk?

I usually have my students sketch out a graph on their desks using non-permanent markers, but you might opt to give them a grid like this one that Dan Meyer and the BuzzMath folks shared on their Graphing Stories website.

Then, I’ll get my kids into Knowledgehook Gameshow to do the remainder of the task interactively. I’ll play videos (there are 10 different walks) and students can sketch the graph, select from options I send to their screens, and then upload a solution of their work.

Note that when I embed questions on my blog, the upload solution option does not work.

Here’s the first Knowledgehook question:

After students have responded and you’ve shared out some of their sketches to the projector to discuss as a group, you can play the Act 3 video.

My kids had some fun doing this activity in class. Obviously, if you have calculator-based rangers (CBRs) for your TI-83’s or digital versions that connect to your tablets/phones, that is an obvious cool activity to do as well. You can also have students create their own videos with their iPads/tablets like Jon Orr does with his class.

Send your students through an interactive math task with Embedded Gameshow (like the questions you see above). This is similar to the Interactive Math Learning Journeys I have posted in the past.

Here’s all the videos on YouTube for all 10 of the walks:

Task 1 [act 1 | act 2 | act 3]
Task 2 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 3 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 4 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 5 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 6 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 7 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 8 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 9 [act 2 | act 3]
Task 10 [act 2 | act 3]

Here’s a YouTube Playlist with ALL of the walks. Pretty convenient to have all the acts of the ten walks in one, big playlist.

New to Using 3 Act Math Tasks?

Download the 2-page printable 3 Act Math Tip Sheet to ensure that you have the best start to your journey using 3 Act math Tasks to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in your math classroom!

I’m Kyle Pearce and I am a former high school math teacher. I’m now the K-12 Mathematics Consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board, where I uncover creative ways to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in mathematics. Read more.

Access Other Real World Math Tasks

Spark Curiosity!