ThreeAct Tasks are mathematical stories that children become personally invested in. Through these tasks, students learn to explain their thinking, practice persevering through challenges, and realize that math is all a round them.
A Three Act Task is formatted as follows:
ACT ONE: Is usually a video or a picture that gets students excited about the math. Students are asked where the math is through: What they notice and wonder? In Act One, students identify the main question, make estimations, as well as think of what they need to know in order to solve a problem.
ACT TWO: Here students find the information needed to solve the problem. A second visual is provided to help give needed information. During Act Two, students use the necessary information to solve the problem.
ACT THREE: The problem is resolved. Students share how they solved the problem finding similarities among the examples provided in a guided discussion. The teacher pushes thinking through carefully selected student work based on the objective.
A Three Act Task is formatted as follows:
ACT ONE: Is usually a video or a picture that gets students excited about the math. Students are asked where the math is through: What they notice and wonder? In Act One, students identify the main question, make estimations, as well as think of what they need to know in order to solve a problem.
ACT TWO: Here students find the information needed to solve the problem. A second visual is provided to help give needed information. During Act Two, students use the necessary information to solve the problem.
ACT THREE: The problem is resolved. Students share how they solved the problem finding similarities among the examples provided in a guided discussion. The teacher pushes thinking through carefully selected student work based on the objective.
Act One of APPLE EAT OFF by Graham Fletcher
In this task, students explore comparing fractions by determining which little girl ate more apple in the allotted time.
First look...
Video used from Graham's Foundation of Fractions Online Course
What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
What information do we need to solve the Problem?
Act two of THE THREE PEARS by Graham Fletcher
Photos from Graham's Foundation of Fractions Online Course
Estimates: How much do all 3 pears weigh?


Student Work:



Act Two of THE BIG PAD by Graham Fletcher
In this task, students find the area of the Big Pad Post It and explore multiplying fractions.
I do not take credit for creating these tasks, or recording sheet, but these professionals do. Click on their names for lists of Three Act Tasks to try in your class.
Graham Fletcher Three Act Tasks for Elementary Grades (K8) Math teacher, coach and specialist. He states on his website "I just want to be a better teacher." His tasks are linked to the Common Core standards. He also provides big ideas and questions for each task.
Mike Wiernicki Three Act Tasks for Elementary Grades (28) Mike Wiernicki is a math coach and consultant. Besides providing Three Act Tasks he also writes his thoughts about teaching math in a blog and offers his favorite resources for math enthusiast to browse.
Robert Kaplinsky ThreeAct Tasks for Elementary Grades (K8)  Robert is a consultant and educator passionate about teaching teachers how to make their students better problem solvers. He provides lessons, blog, and resources on his website.
Dan Meyer Three Act Tasks (612) Dan Meyers google doc provides a list of about 80 ThreeAct Tasks with common core standard. Although most tasks are for upper grades, a few elementary tasks can be found on this spreadsheet.
Mike Wiernicki Three Act Tasks for Elementary Grades (28) Mike Wiernicki is a math coach and consultant. Besides providing Three Act Tasks he also writes his thoughts about teaching math in a blog and offers his favorite resources for math enthusiast to browse.
Robert Kaplinsky ThreeAct Tasks for Elementary Grades (K8)  Robert is a consultant and educator passionate about teaching teachers how to make their students better problem solvers. He provides lessons, blog, and resources on his website.
Dan Meyer Three Act Tasks (612) Dan Meyers google doc provides a list of about 80 ThreeAct Tasks with common core standard. Although most tasks are for upper grades, a few elementary tasks can be found on this spreadsheet.