Write Angles

April 15, 2005

Disney’s Holes as a Math Movie

Filed under: Math Videos,Movies for Math Class — Damon @ 7:50 pm

I am always on the lookout for movies to show in . The history and English teachers are always watching movies. It’s only fair that math teachers get to watch something once in a while… (So if you know of any, feel free to post a comment.)

Holes, based on the book by Louis Sachar, is about Stanley Yelnats who is sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn’t commit. He is really there because of his family curse brought on by his “dirty-rotten-no-good-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather.” (I think I got the quote right. My copy of the movie is at school.)

At camp he digs holes “to build character.” He also learns more about his family curse as well as the curse on Camp Green Lake…

It’s a great movie even without the math connections. But here are some ideas for practice in . (The last questions even lead into the concept of the derivative.)

One question you can ask before watching the movie:

How much dirt is in a hole that is five feet deep with a diameter of 5 feet?

Answer:

None! There is no dirt in the hole after it is dug… Haha!

Here are some more serious questions to get your students thinking about algebra. If these are too difficult, specify the length of the shovel.

The character X-Ray uses a shorter shovel than the others so he gets to dig smaller holes. Each hole has a diameter of one shovel length and a depth of one shovel length.

If his shovel is 10 percent shorter than the others, how much less dirt does he have to shovel?

If his shovel is 20 percent shorter, how much less dirt does he have to shovel?

What if it is x percent shorter?

For small percentages, is there a linear approximation to the previous question?

At what percentage does the linear approximation no longer work?

As I think of additional questions I will add them. If you can think of any feel free to post them in a comment.

Update: There are other educational resources related to Holes at eduscapes and at The Hole Truth.

Update II: Here are links to Amazon’s pages for the movie:

Full Screen Edition

Wide Screen Edition

Advertisements

37 Comments »

  1. My favorite is “Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land.” I showed it to my middle school students last year, and the ones who were most interested in math especially enjoyed it. It covers lots of topics. I think I found a VHS copy of it at the library.

    Comment by Garbo — April 16, 2005 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  2. I don’t know any movies (one of our math teachers shows “Bill Nye The Science Guy” whenever she has a sub.)

    But I do know of a fun book that I read when I was younger.

    It was called “Flatland.” It’s all about geometry, dimensions, and the Unexpected. Very readable.

    Comment by EdWonk — April 17, 2005 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

  3. Stand and Deliver. In case you haven’t seen it . . . it’s about an AP math teacher (Escalante) that inspires a bunch of inner city kids to take and master advanced math classes. Great cast, great script . . . and it’s a true story.

    Comment by Maria Mahecha — April 18, 2005 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  4. Re: EdWonk’s comment above, Flatland is also available as an ebook for free right here: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/201

    Dover Press also sells the print copy for $1.

    Comment by Robert — April 19, 2005 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you all for your comments and ideas. I had forgotten about most of these. Other ideas are always welcome. I’m especially interested in projects or assignments that could go with the movie.

    For example:
    After watching Donald Duck, students could make little animations (using cards they flip through) of billiard balls bouncing around.

    After reading Flatland, students could do skits (or storyboards) of circles and other shapes interacting. (By the way Project Gutenberg is really cool. Thank you Robert. I’ll be blogging more about it later.)

    After watching Stand and Deliver students could discuss the logical assumptions made when the “authorities” concluded that the students had cheated. This could lead to a discussion of logical fallacies and other examples in society.

    Thanks again for the ideas,

    Comment by Damon — April 19, 2005 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  6. The Carnival Of Education: Week 11

    Welcome to the eleventh edition of The Carnival Of Education. Here we have assembled a variety of interesting and informative posts from around the EduSphere (and a few from the Larger ‘Sphere) that have been submitted by various authors and readers….

    Trackback by The Education Wonks — April 20, 2005 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  7. Why don’t you show movies and have students use math to show how farfetched the plots are? I think students love to show up adult more than just running some numbers. It also shows students that math can be used to prove to disprove something instead of just getting an answer.

    Comment by superdestroyer — April 20, 2005 @ 5:45 am | Reply

  8. For high school juniors and older, the Darren Aronofsky film “Pi” is superb. Essentially, the entire movie is about mathematics and its sundry applications, and the passion of some people for the subject.

    Comment by John McMahon — April 20, 2005 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  9. A Band-Aid for Glue Boy

    The Education Wonks’ Carnival Of Education: Week 11 is up. Board of Education discusses movies to show in math class. A commenter mentions “Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land,” which I remember from middle school. Ms. Smlph adopts the Band-Aid approach…

    Trackback by joannejacobs.com — April 20, 2005 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  10. Do you have the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge film handy? It’s the perfect example of how important PDEs are.

    Comment by Eric Jablow — April 20, 2005 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  11. The Math and Computing Club here at my college just got together to watch the pilot episode of the TV show “Numb3rs” and I thought it was pretty good. As far as I could tell, all the math in the show was legit, although the actual use of mathematics in FBI cases is probably a lot messier than the show makes it out to be (ala CSI).

    And yes, Project Gutenberg is great. Glad you liked it.

    Comment by robert — April 20, 2005 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  12. There is also the new film “Ice Princess” by Disney where a math smart girl becomes a champion ice skater by using her math skills to land a triple. It has raked in 22 million. Not a blockbuster but might be good for middle school girls. Decent reviews but seems a bit far fetched so older kids might not buy into it.

    I have to agree, Donald is still the best. Any short film that shows you how to play pool is great!

    Comment by Sean — April 22, 2005 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  13. Disney’s Holes

    I’m glad someone found something good out of this movie. Link: bored of education: Disney’s Holes as a Math Movie.

    Trackback by Can I Get A What What — December 27, 2005 @ 9:07 am | Reply

  14. Nice design. Please add more smiles to your guestbook 🙂 Please more updates.

    Comment by Designer Handbagsp — June 10, 2007 @ 3:36 am | Reply

  15. “A Beautiful Mind” has held the attention of my high school students. It even helps they understand a bit of the basics of game theory. Provides a springboard into discussing code making/breaking.

    “October Sky” has math involved. It is the true story of how a group of friends in West Virginia in the 1950’s experimented with rocketry and went on to win the National Science Fair. Excellent film.

    Comment by lairdkw — May 27, 2009 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  16. “Disneys Holes as a Math Movie | Write Angles” honestly
    causes me personally ponder a little bit further.
    I admired every particular part of this blog post. Thanks for your time -Candelaria

    Comment by http://tinyurl.com/jknwluke40017 — January 13, 2013 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  17. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I
    was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    Comment by Isobel — April 18, 2013 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  18. Hi there outstanding website! Does running a blog like this require
    a lot of work? I have absolutely no knowledge
    of programming but I was hoping to start my own
    blog soon. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or tips
    for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic but I simply had to ask.
    Appreciate it!

    Comment by Domain Name Registrar — June 25, 2013 @ 5:49 am | Reply

  19. I absolutely love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make
    this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own website and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thank you!

    Comment by Domain Registrar — June 25, 2013 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  20. Hi, for all time i used to check weblog posts here early in the dawn, as
    i like to find out more and more.

    Comment by Website Domain — July 5, 2013 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

  21. I believe this is among the so much significant
    information for me. And i am satisfied studying your article.
    However wanna commentary on some common issues,
    The website style is ideal, the articles is in point of fact great
    : D. Good activity, cheers

    Comment by Webhosting — July 5, 2013 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  22. Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    Comment by Ipage Websites — July 31, 2013 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  23. Hi there mates, nice post and nice arguments commented here, I am in fact enjoying by these.

    Comment by Mypc Backup Reviews — August 2, 2013 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  24. Hi there, I wish for to subscribe for this blog to get most recent updates,
    so where can i do it please help.

    Comment by watch dogs demo download — August 4, 2013 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  25. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my
    iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My appple ipasd is now broken annd shee
    has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

    Comment by Dawn — September 27, 2013 @ 6:47 am | Reply

  26. Fantastique,épuisé couvrir de devant conception
    par amis top eleven hack token money clash of clans hack 2013 no
    survey. lancer dans le cas d’ Séjour top eleven hack 2012 free
    download torrent.

    Comment by Top Eleven Hack V2013 Kohls Coupon Codes 30% — September 29, 2013 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  27. Уou have made some good points there.I lookeԀ on the internet to learn mߋre about the issue and found most individuals
    ѡill go along with yiur views on this weƅ site.

    Comment by movie trailer killing them softly — February 15, 2014 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  28. It’s actually very complicated in this active life to listen news on Television, so
    I simply use internet for that reason, and obtain the
    most up-to-date information.

    Comment by www.youtube.com — April 24, 2014 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  29. I pay a visit every day a few sites and blogs to
    read posts, but this weblog provides quality based articles.

    Comment by Heike — April 29, 2014 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  30. These are actually enormous ideas in on the topic
    of blogging. You have touched some pleasant things here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

    Comment by Utahs Best Seo — April 29, 2014 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  31. It’s hard to find educated people about this subject, however, you seem
    like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    Comment by Jeannette — May 4, 2014 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  32. I love what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!

    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve included you guys to my personal
    blogroll.

    Comment by Shonda — September 13, 2014 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  33. Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so!
    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you,
    very nice article.

    Comment by make my essay — October 8, 2014 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  34. You should have more than enough cash regarding
    bearing the strain of all costs if you want to happy your Christmas
    Just about any college bank cards and expenses
    owed directly to a school can also normally often be legally removed as a economical obligation as well as restructured into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
    credit reparing payment plan. Federal school loans provide college students will revenue for tuition, books, and living
    expenses.

    Comment by sourceforge.net — September 6, 2015 @ 7:53 am | Reply

  35. Added additional safety to hide customers origial IP Address from accessing Boom Seashore servers to stop IP Ban.

    Comment by Diamonds and wood offered by Http://boombeach.hackskings.com/ Team — October 10, 2015 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  36. Not only will this type of toy be something, which the kid would adore definitely, but it will
    also help with educating him. Many kids are more than happy
    to accommodate the wishes of the parents (who long for
    an uncluttered child’s room) whenever they have a toy
    chest of their unique. What’s the best nerf gun in the world This will
    provide you with a direct dealer to your toy collection.

    Unsurprisingly, people often enjoy seeing OTHER PEOPLE get nerfed…
    particularly in Pv – P or conflict oriented games.
    The standard from the length of ropes is around 220mm, but
    a majority of toys have the ropes with a length of 270mm.

    Comment by Nrfguns My — March 1, 2016 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  37. hello, that is nice http://dingdongsong.com

    Comment by Nana Monata — July 7, 2016 @ 1:34 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: