High Fives in Three Acts

This is my first attempt at publishing a “3-Act Math Lesson.” So it’s not quite polished yet, but it worked really well on the first day of school. Lots of different directions to take it at the end, including paths into rates and design thinking.


Act One: High Fives All Around

Students share whatever questions they have about this clip with their neighbor.

Possible Questions

Why is he doing that?

How many people are in the circle?

How long is he doing that for?

How many high fives does he give?

Why would you have a world record for high fives?

(students are really surprised at first)

Act Two: How many high fives did he give?

Students work with their neighbor to come up with an estimate.

Take another look at the video, are there any clues?

Notice that in the clip there is a man keeping time, can you estimate how many times he makes it around the circle in a minute from these clues?

What do we need to know?

-Times around the circle

-Number of people in the circle

I make a table on the board with their estimates for revolutions, people in circle, and total high fives.

Act Three: Watch The Whole Clip

59 people in the circle

4 revolutions

How many high fives is that?

What is the average rate of high fives per second?

Is that more or less than you expected?


Do you think you could beat that record?

How could you better design the attempt to get more high fives?

What’s the upper limit for most high fives in 60 seconds?

Who would be able to high five more people Usain Bolt or LaShawn Merritt (400m World Champion)?

What if we each gave a high five to every student in the class, how many high fives would be given in total?

So many more directions you could go with this!


1 Comment

Filed under 3-Act, Middle School

One response to “High Fives in Three Acts

  1. Hey this is fun. Thanks for sharing the Guinness clip. Definitely tuning back into your blog here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s