We were curious about how often and how profitable the Star Wars movies have been. So we gathered data on each movie's budget and earnings and posed an open-ended question. How do the Star Wars movies compare?
Consider this: Start with only the first page of the activity sheet. Have kids look at the data and ponder these questions: What does this data make you wonder? What would you like to find out? How do you suppose that I should calculate the profit that these companies made from the movies? What other factors should I try to account for in creating profit amounts that I could compare?
Let kids think through ways that they might compare the success of the movies and how they could do this. Then give students page two of the activity. Students might use any of these comparisons or one of their own wonderings:
- Which movie was most profitable or most successful
- Which earned the most for every dollar originally spent on the budget?
- Students may have to discuss and consider inflation. A movie ticket in 1977 did not cost the same as it does today. Students might use this relatively easy to use inflation calculator or they could compare how many tickets at various year's prices must have been bought.
- Students can compare the movies or make claims such as "________ sold the most tickets" or "________ made the most money for every dollar spent on the budget" or "_______ made the most when adjusting for inflation."
The grade level of your students might be the determining factor in which question(s) they study. Finally, you could ask students to create a visual representation of their conclusion that they could use to persuade their classmates of the validity of their observation.Through this activity students can analyze data, make a case or claim and explain and critique the reasoning of others. And, of course, use the Force!
The activity: StarWarsProfitability2017.pdf
For members we have an editable Word docx, our Excel calculation sheet, and solutions.
Depending on the grade level and the way students approach the problem many different CCSS can be addressed: CCSS: 4.NBT.5, 4.NBT.6, 4.OA.2, 4.OA.3, 5.NBT.5, 5.NBT.6, 6.NS.2, 7.NS.3, MP3