Bird and dog race (performance task)

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      Bird and dog race


      The purpose of this task is for students to use the Pythagorean Theorem as a problem-solving

      tool to calculate the distance between two points on a grid. In this case the grid is also a map,

      and the street names can be viewed as defining a coordinate system (although the coordinate

      system is not needed to solve the problem). This task bridges between standards 8.G.7 and

      8.G.8, and thus it illustrates the cluster 8.G.B. Determining the winner of the race by the

      anticipated method will require two steps: finding the distance Doug and Bert will each travel,

      and then using their distances and speed to find the time it will take each to run the race.


      We ask students to predict a winner (a) to encourage them to articulate and interpret the given

      information. Knowing what a solution will look like (c), a comparison of the running/flying time

      for each contestant, is an important step in solving. This question is meant to focus students’

      efforts on solving the problem at hand, rather than trying to take the given information and

      haphazardly perform calculations.


      Since a solution requires at least two steps: calculating the distance each contestant runs, and

      then using those distances and rates to compute the time it takes them to run, this task may

      pose a challenge for many students

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