I’m a great fan of dy/dan’s philosophy of teaching math. But I’m also a fan of practical ideas to integrate into a lesson plan. Luckily, he provides wonderful resources in that regard.

He has “3 Act” lessons which are lessons that incorporate multimedia. This particular lesson, as the title states, is about the world’s largest coffee cup. Here’s his complete coffee cup lesson:

dy/dan’s World’s Largest Coffee Cup

I categorized this post in the “Volume and Surface Area,” “Proportions,” and “Linear equations” because I’m considering using it as a “visual word problem” for those units.

Volume and Surface Area

- It could be a simple question about volume and surface area. How much paint did they need to paint the outside of the cup? How much coffee did they need to fill up the cup?

Proportions:

- If the average person drinks x ounces of coffee, how many people will it take to drink all the coffee in the worlds largest coffee cup or

-If the average person is 69 inches tall, what size would a person have to be for this cup to be a “normal” cup for him/her. (The typical regular sized coffee mug is 3.5 to 4 inches tall, but I wouldn’t have to tell the students this. I have enough coffee mugs that I could just give them a mug and a ruler…)

Linear Equations

- Given a rate of flow (and assuming a constant rate), students could calculate and graph how long it took to fill up the cup, or given the time of how long it took to fill up the cup, students could calculate the rate of flow, etc.

For whatever reason, my laptop mini won’t play the videos from Dan’s links, but will play them directly from YouTube. Here’s two of the videos in the lesson that can be found on YouTube:

Intro to Problem

(The repetitive “music” gets annoying…)

I’d still encourage you to go to Dan’s site, maybe his video links will work for you. You’ll also need the other information, such as the picture that shows the dimensions of the cup, etc. Lastly, you’ll see the whole picture of what Dan’s lesson is really about, which is more than my currently watered down version.

Following the same concept is the world’s largest burger:

I’ll list some of the stats that can be molded into questions below, but you can find them and the accompanying video here.

1,375,000 calories

Over 600 pounds of beef

30 pounds of lettuce

12 pounds of pickles

20 pounds of onions

28 inch thick, 110 pound bun.

(That’s only a total of 772 pounds so when they say over 600 pounds of beef, I’ll assume they mean 605 pounds of beef).

14 hours to cook

3 ft thick, 5 ft in diameter