Angry Birds = Happy Students

16 May 2013
We just finished up our Angry Birds project - integrating math and science.  I know I've shared a pic or two already, but I just have to show you how they turned out!

I have a few students who are completely obsessed with angry birds this year, so when I remembered I had pinned nets for angry bird solids a while back, I knew it was time to pull them out.  Our math unit was 3D shapes, so we were looking at nets, constructing solids, and measuring volume and surface area.  Perfect.  Our science unit was structures and forces acting on structures.  Even more perfect.  So, we got creative and combined the two.  (***Note - I don't have a unit for this, or even sheets to share, as the angry bird brand is very protected by trademark laws, or copyright laws, or something like that.  I am going to post pics of everything we did, and if it sounds like fun, feel free to borrow these ideas for your classroom).

We first made our 3D shapes from the Angry Bird nets.  You can download your own copies HERE.  When students were finished constructing their solids, they had to find the volume and surface area of 4 different sized solids (since most of the solids are cubes, this step wasn't too difficult for them.  To up the difficulty a bit, I required my grade 6 students to find the surface area of the yellow bird - a tetrahedron).

Once we were done with the math, we decorated our shoe boxes to give our birds a home.  (Also made it much easier to store all their materials, and stacked nicely in the corner of the classroom to contain the clutter.  They then had to start on their structures.  We had watched a few videos about types of structures, and read a few articles, and then they got started.  I gave each student 30 popsicle sticks, 7 straws, 3 arms lengths of masking tape, a piece of paper, and 10 paper clips.  Structures had to be 30 cm tall, have a 10 x 10 cm platform on the top, and be able to withstand the forces of gravity, hurricane winds, and a ground-shaking earthquake.  They took about 2 science periods to complete their structures.

By today we had finished everything, and this afternoon we tested our structures out.  First we measured the height and the size of the platform.

Then we turned the fan on high to simulate those hurricane winds.

Then we tested the effects of gravity by placing 50g weights on top of the structures.

Last, we shook for boxes for 10 seconds to see if they could take the ground shaking earthquake.  When we were finished, students had a reflection sheet to answer, and the final projects were marked with a checklist rubric.  

Such a fun summative project!  And angry birds definitely equalled happy students in my classroom.  I took a picture of each of the kids with their projects, and sent the pics home with the parents.  I'll leave you with a few pics of the finished projects.

Happy Thursday!!!


  1. I absolutely love this and I am certain your kids did as well! Awesome. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Definitely adding this to my Science activities for next year. My kiddos will love, love, love it and won't even realize just how much they are learning! Thanks for sharing!

    The Teacher's Desk 6

  3. So fun! Students will love the birds and building the structures.

  4. And happy students= happy teacher. Well played, my friend. Awesome idea! I wonder if I can squeeze it in??!!

    Fun in Room 4B

  5. Love everything about this. So thoughtful and intentional and FUN!

    The Math Maniac

  6. Wow! What an engaging and FUN Math lesson! I can imagine all students just loving this.

    Do you mind if I pin some of these? This idea really needs to be in every school because students would be SO engaged in Maths! I just wanted to check first before I went ahead. :)


  7. Wow, this looks so fun!! What a great project!!

    (I know nothing about Angry kids weren't into it this year so I was saved...I should probably learn about it...)

    Have a great weekend!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. Jen! Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fun! I know my kids would be delighted to do something like this. I'm tucking it away for next year when I can say, "I got this from my friend, Jen Runde..."

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  9. Thanks for sharing these ideas. They are perfect for the Ontario Curriculum! 2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Blog

  10. Love the idea: I decided tomake this into a financial activity as well: I gave them a budget of $10 and said 1m of masking tape costs $2, a straw is 10c each, a paddle pop stick is 20c, a paperclip is 15c etc. Worked really well :)

  11. Love it! did the kids trace the shapes on construction paper or did you run them off on construction paper?

  12. This is truly fantastic! Thank you for sharing. I am inspired and so will my students :)

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've been looking for something a bit different for structures. This fits the bill and I'm sure my students will enjoy it!

  14. I'm going to do this with my after school STEM club. I'm very excited about doing this with the kids.