Sunday, April 16, 2017

Castle Siege: Elapsed Time Activity

It doesn't take long when delving into medieval themed fun for the classroom to become intrigued with medieval siege engines. Seriously, how dedicated were they in kingdom conquest to lug massive and extremely heavy siege engines across far distances in the hope they would win the victory? Also, for the time period, I'm impressed with the sophisticated technology. For those of you teaching 3rd grade, siege engines are a nice tie in to simple machines too.

We had already played with building catapults in class and launching them at our castles we built as Castle Architects for a unit in perimeter and area. The end of the year was fast approaching and lo and behold the ever daunting end of year testing was looming. In comes the giant review project game, Quest for the Kingdom-An End of Year Math Review Project: Gamification Style, and I have another opportunity to incorporate siege engines into a fun assignment for the game.

Castle Siege: Elapsed Time Activity is born. In the game, this activity is at the Lord level. As a lord, your duty is to protect your land and people from attack. Earlier in the game, a neighboring country had and damaged the manor. The king orders retaliation and now it is time to lay siege in return. The activity as a stand alone assignment sets the stage at the siege with no backstory from the game.

Students are given the amount of time each siege engine will take to be in the right place for the siege start time. Students work backwards to find the set off time for each siege engine in order for everything to be ready for the official siege start.

There are 2 options for solving the elapsed time problems. I am in love with arrow language. It has been quite a useful notation for addition and subtraction and can be used for elapsed time as well. If you'd like to see how to use arrow language with elapsed time, check out my freebie here. No more messy stacking and weird subtraction for elapsed time, thank you very much. (Bad memories from when I was a student!) Arrow Language to the rescue! As such, using arrow language is my preferred method for this activity. It is rather structured for the students to allow ease of subtraction. It also includes clock faces for visual aids and also to practice drawing times on clocks. The other option for solving elapsed time is with using clock faces on their own.

Each option has its own project pages with siege engines and time label slips. The arrow language option has time slips for the project page with arrow language on the slips. The second option has students writing the start times on labeled slips to add to the project page.

After determining the start times, students cut out the siege engine and corresponding time slips and glue them into positions surrounding the castle. A layout page is included to show how to organize the project pieces on the page. You can glue the worksheets on the back or hand those in separately.

The stage is set. It is up to the lord's strategy and the student's imagination on whether the siege will be successful or not. Perhaps the next activity would be to determine how much time students need to build siege engines to test. 😉

Check out my blog posts on Arrow Language and Quest for the Kingdom below if interested.

Arrow Language Blog Post

Blog Post

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