Monday, March 7, 2016

Angry Birds and Math

Angry, Bird, Game  Angry birds is a popular game played on a mobile device.  As you probably know, the premise is simply to launch the birds so you destroy the pigs and the blocks.  If your first shot doesn't work right, you readjust until you succeed.

Perfect for the math class because it forces the player to use vectors and parabolas as noted in yesterday's entry but are there  other ways to use Angry Birds in the classroom?  Yes.

In this blog entry "Angry Birds Teach Math" the author explains 4 different ways to use the game in the math classroom and includes all the materials necessary.  The first activity looks at the red bird and quadratics, the second focuses on the yellow bird and flying tangent to a curve so you can use both linear equations, tangent lines, derivatives and piece wise functions.  The third is based on the Star Wars version of Angry Birds. We look at Hans Solo shots using either a linear or a parabolic function.  The last one looks at shots that bounce off of things using reflections and perpendicular lines.

The Math Techniques and Strategies blog has a lovely list of 5 math lessons using Angry Birds including links to reach the lesson itself.  I love that one of the lessons ties conic sections, especially the parabola with the game while another helps students identify equations of the parabola, zeros, apex and requires the use of systems of equations.  This really is just what it says, a list of math lessons.

Math Movement discusses the movement based on an article that appeared in Wired magazine in which a physicist talks about the physics of Angry Birds.  The physics that it uses is math.  The flight of the red bird is friction-less so the only thing needed is for a person to plan the initial angle of launch.  This article includes the algebraic quadratic equations for 3 different launching angles. It is quite interesting.

Finally from Greenapples wiki space,  one can get some worksheets and other materials to use in the classroom from practicing their multiplication to calculating destructive parabolas from nine different places.  In addition, one of the links is to live binders which has quite a few resources of its own.

So Angry birds becomes the hook to pull students into math. Add in a You Tube video and you are set.