ARADIO – Day 10 – Launching Into Lessons Using Comics #1

It isn’t a secret that I find the internet to be a wonderfully useful place. All jokes about cat videos aside, there are many places that allow people’s creativity to shine. One of those places is xkcd. Written by a former NASA roboticist, Randall Munroe, it is filled with wit, sarcasm, pathos and science. It is written in an accessible way, but also without dumbing down the content. I like to use his comic as an entry point for both writing and math lessons. Here is an example:

This is the Up Goer five, it is a description of the space shuttle written using the most common thousand words in the English language. I let the students take a look, and tell me what they learned. Then I ask if the descriptions make sense. Lastly I’ll ask them how many words they think they know.

After the questions, I’ll give them this math problem (all numbers sourced from Wikipedia – which is correct enough for our purposes)
Math Problems Numbers

Students are amazed at their own vocabulary!

Leave a Reply