Keywords - Literal calculation, monomials, polynomials, operations between monomials and polynomials, equations.
Purpose - Understanding the resolution of first order equations.
Pre-requisites - Knowing operations between monomials.
Description - The trainer divides the group into subgroups composed of an appropriate number of people according to the requirements described as follows.
Each subgroup decides which first order equation to resolve. It would be interesting to have at least two monomials with the letter X and two numbers. (E.g. 3X + 2 = - 4X + 3).
The participants turn into monomials and numbers according to the rules described in the activity “Representing monomials and polynomials”.
Regarding the simple representation of monomials and polynomials, in the event that an equation have the symbol = introduced, it is represented by a participant with a sheet of paper upon which a large equal sign is drawn.
Once the equation to represent has been decided, the group solves it on a sheet of paper to understand the passages to arrive at the final answer X = n.
Each group decides upon a setting (historic era, film genre, etc) and a soundtrack.
The solution to the equation is staged and characterised by the setting and the soundtrack. The theatrics call for a silent scene in which each participant is characterised by their way of moving and reacting and the operation takes place as described in the “Operations between monomials” activity.
During the performance it is crucial that the passages in an operation are done one at a time and very clearly in order to allow the public to read what is happening in the scene from both a theatrical and mathematical point of view.
In this sense the person who plays the equal sign plays a fundamental role. He/she has the role of controlling the traffic of whom in the equation moves from right to left of the equal or vice versa, making sure the signs are changed.
The trainer gives each group approximately 30 minutes to prepare the theatre sketch. Each sketch is presented to the rest of the group which plays the audience and must make sure that the steps are carried out correctly.
Duration - A minimum of 1 hour.
Observations - During the presentation phase it is important that the participants have fun staging the equation. It is not essential that all the steps be carried out correctly. An error in resolving it can become a starting point for reflection by the group to reason together on the rules of equations and make them their own.