Tag Archives: bean game

Evolution: Evolution Game

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we spent the majority of class outside today playing an evolution game.  The class was divided into thirds, with one-third of students receiving a plastic fork, spoon, or knife.  All students received a cup.  The cup served as the “mouth” and the eating utensil was the “hand”.  Dried pinto beans were scattered in a section of the front lawn, and students had to move the beans from the ground to the cup using only the utensil.  After three minutes, the students gathered in their utensil groups and counted the total number of beans collected.  We repeated the activity again, changing the number of students with each utensil and collecting data for round two.  For the third and final round, students foraged for both beans and rice.  We then went back into the classroom and analyzed our results.   Students calculated the percentage of beans obtained by each group (percent of total collected for each round) and the average number of beans collected by the students in each group.  Students then brainstormed factors that could have affected class results and those are reported below:

  • Number of people per group
  • Beans blended into grass
  • Amount of hunting space around each student
  • Area chosen by student for hunting
  • Shape of utensil
  • Speed each student hunted
  • Some people cheated (used hands)
  • Technique (some used the utensil non-traditionally)
  • Determination of each student (persistence to hunt for full 3 minutes)
  • Competition for territory
  • Some utensils broke during the hunt
  • Shifting focus from beans to rice
  • Forks got caught on the grass
  • Hunters became more competitive
  • Amount of time available to hunt for food
  • Rough terrain affected food collection
  • Hunters sabotaging each other

The data for each class period is shown in the pictures below:

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Period 2
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Period 3
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Period 4
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Period 5

Evolution: Bean Game

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we spent the first half of class outside today playing an evolution bean game.  The class was divided into thirds, with one-third of students receiving a plastic fork, spoon, or knife.  All students received a plastic cup.  The cup served as the “mouth” and the eating utensil was the “hand”.  One bag of 1000 pinto beans was scattered in a section of the front lawn, and students had to move the beans from the ground to the cup using only the utensil.  After two minutes, the students gathered in their utensil groups and counted the total number of beans collected.  We repeated the activity again, changing the number of students with each utensil and collecting additional data.  We then went back into the classroom and analyzed our results.   Students calculated the average number of beans obtained by each group member, the average number of beans available to each group, and how many students it would take with each utensil to obtain the average number of beans available to each group.  Students then thought about the factors that affected the class results, sharing their ideas on the white board (below).  Finally, students were challenged to improve the game, writing ideas for how to evolve the bean game and make it even more engaging for all students.

Bean Game Factors