“Innovation is change that unlocks new value” By Jamie Notter
The TV show ‘Shark Tank’ gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to sell a business idea to millionaire entrepreneurs in only a few minutes. One day when watching the show I thought ‘why couldn’t we take this idea and add it into the classroom?’ That is when I started brainstorming different ways to use the ‘Shark Tank’ framework to bring in more student ownership into the classroom. I soon realized I have been doing a version of ‘Shark Tank’ in my classroom before Shark Tank was invented!
Each year in my math class, students were put into groups and had to design a theme park. This project lasted all year long and for each standard/skill, they had a different piece to complete. For example, area and perimeter: The students had to mathematically figure out how to best utilize their blueprint to fit the rides and also think about the ‘flow’ of the park etc. For each standard/skill I had a guest speaker that was an expert that came to talk to the class. For example, for the theme park design, I was able to get the designer that helped build Carowinds to come and speak to the students about the flow. At the end of the year, the students had to create a presentation and ‘sell’ their theme park as the best. The judges were each of the guest speakers that came to speak to the class throughout the year. (The students didn’t know that the guest speakers were going to be the judges until the day of.)
The ‘Shark Tank’ framework marries well with Project/Problem Based Learning (PBL’s) as a way to present their findings/outcomes. It also aligns to many of the Common Core Standards for ELA from K-12 such as listening and speaking. Here are a few other ideas of how to add in the ‘Shark Tank framework into your classroom:
1. Shark Tank: Book Report: The students job is to create a “Shark Tank” sales pitch on a book to the class that they choose to ‘sell’. The idea is that you want to contain enough information about the book that will interest and excite the potential reader without giving away the entire plot – so they will ‘buy’ it (read it). Check out this Shark Tank Book Report.
2. Shark Tank: Prototypes: The students job is to create a “Shark Tank” sales pitch to ‘sell’ their prototype/invention/business.
3. Shark Tank: Periodic Table: The students job is to create a “Shark Tank” sales pitch to ‘sell’ their element as the best.
I would love to hear how you have or will use the ‘Shark Tank’ framework in your classroom to bring in more student ownership. Please share in the comment section.