Perplexing Puzzles allows students to work in groups to put a puzzle together. Use this lesson to teaching graphing or the concept of a scatter plot.
scatter plot, graph, x axis, y axis, puzzle, jigsaw puzzle
Arrange students into groups of 4. Provide each group with a jigsaw puzzle of similar difficulty. The puzzles might be between 250 and 500 pieces. Extra difficult puzzles are fine.
Give student groups about 5 minutes to organize their puzzle pieces. In this time, they should turn over all the pieces so the picture sides are up, and they can begin to separate outside-edge pieces from inner pieces.
Provide a class period for groups of students to work on putting together their puzzles. Set a stopwatch for 5-minute intervals. At each interval, ask students to record the number of puzzle pieces put together during the previous 5 minutes. (Note: Groups may not finish the entire puzzle in the class period, but that is fine.)
Allow students to work on the puzzle for a full class period. The next class period (or as homework), have students create graphs to show the number of puzzle pieces put together by the students in their group for each 5-minute interval.
Have students use their completed graphs to write an explanation of what the graphs show. In their writing students should explain the relationship between time and the number of puzzle pieces put together. They might answer questions such as
Younger students might answer simpler questions such as
As a culminating activity, students might complete their puzzles and put puzzle glue on them. Once dry, the puzzles could be attached to classroom ceiling tiles as decoration.
Melissa Thomas, Dacula (Georgia) Middle School
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