Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Jumping Jaguars!

Debra Mastro


Students accurately measure the distances they and their classmates jump. They determine the mean, median and mode of specific jumps.


The student understands and explains the effects of addition, subtraction, and multiplication on whole numbers, decimals, and fractions, including mixed numbers, and the effects of division on whole numbers, including the inverse relationship of multiplication and division.

The student uses and justifies different estimation strategies in a real-world problem situation and determines the reasonableness of results of calculations in a given problem situation.

The student solves real-world problems involving length, weight, perimeter, area, capacity, volume, time, temperature, and angles.

The student determines range, mean, median, and mode from sets of data.


-Graphic art program such as Print Shop Deluxe
-Measuring tapes/rulers


1.Research various animals, including jaguars, and their jumping distances.
2. Prepare -signs- using a graphics art program for display around the room with an animal's picture and the distance that it can jump.
3. Create or reproduce worksheets for the students' use in recording their data.
4. Either have the floor marked into feet and inches, or provide the students with the needed measuring tapes/rulers.


Please take the time to note which parts are taught and assessed in this lesson.

1.The room is marked with various -signs- with an animal's picture on it. Each sign states the distance that animal can jump. These are easily created using a graphic arts program. Begin the lesson by standing in front of the class (or to the side, etc.) and doing a standing long jump. Then return to the starting position; back up as far as is possible, run and jump again. You may opt to have a student perform the jumps if you do not feel comfortable doing them, however, it really grabs the students' attention when the teacher sails across the room!

2.After you have completed the jumps ask, -Can you jump as far as a jaguar?-

3. Expect some chatter from the class. After redirection, the students are told that their new assignment is to compare the distances they can jump with the designated animals. They are asked whether they think that they can jump farther standing still or running. They are also asked to estimate the distances that they can jump in both the standing long jump and the running long jump. Then they are asked other questions to propel their thinking process, such as: Can you jump farther or can a rabbit? etc. These estimations are recorded by the students and used for comparison later in the lesson.

4.The students then are given instructions. The students are put into groups of about four and are told that they are to record the jumps of their classmates. They are required to have two measurements for each classmate, one for standing long jump and one for running long jump.

5.After each student has completed the jumps, the students are given the task of determining the following facts: a)Do animals or students jump farther?
b)Do students jump farther by standing or running?
c)What is the mean, median and mode of the standing distances?
d)What is the mean, median and mode of the running distances?
e)What is the mean, median and mode of the difference between the standing and running distances?
f)What is the difference between your estimate and your actual jump?

6.The students are asked to state the math functions that are needed to arrive at the correct answers (measurement, subtraction, addition, division).

7.The students are asked to complete the operations and instructed to be prepared to record their findings on a worksheet distributed by the teacher. The worksheet has the following columns for the student to chart their individual distances: 1)Estimate Standing 2)Estimate Running 3)Standing 4)Running 5)Average of Standing and Running

8.Draw a table on the board with the same headings.

9.Under these headings the students are called upon to enter the data in the columns. The chart is used only for recording the student's jumps. Each student takes a turn at the board recording his own data. After each is listed, the students use the information to arrive at the class average in each category.

10.Then instruct the students to find the average distance of the animal jumps.

11. Go to the board and enter the given information in the corresponding columns.

12.The class is led in a discussion on the findings: Did you jump as far as you thought that you would? Was there a difference in the distance that you jumped standing still and the distance that you jumped when running? Why was there a difference? How did you determine what math processes you would use to arrive at your answers? How do you find the mean? How do you find the median? How do you find the mode? Are there any other things that you can think of that could cause a difference in your jumping distance? (Some students respond that they can run faster when they are being chased by an animal, or with other variations of this. You may want to delve into the reasons for this and expand the lesson.)


Please take the time to note which parts are taught and assessed in this lesson.

This is a formative assessment. An analytic rubric scoring the areas of measurement, addition, subtraction, division and derivation of average can be created and used answering the following questions:

Did the student participate in the measuring process?
Did the student perform the correct math operations?
Did the student perform the math operations properly?
Did the student explain the math process correctly?
Did the student participate in the class discussion?
Did the student make realistic estimates?

Teacher observation is vital to the accurate assessment of this lesson.

Mastery: 6/6 or 5/6

Remediate: 4/6 or less. Those who do not achieve mastery will be paired with students who have mastered the skills. The groups will perform the calculations, explaining as they go so that the other students are able to grasp the concepts through peer tutoring.
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