March Mammal Madness

Have you heard? Are your kids involved? Do you do March Mammal Madness?

If you are not, that’s OK, I wasn’t either until this year. I found out about March Mammal Madness through a facebook group for teachers I follow that is full of crazy awesome science ideas.  March Mammal Madness, or MMM2019 for short, pits animal against animal in a “who would win” theoretical situation. The results combine careful research by university professors, and weighted probability with a dice roll to keep things random.

You can read up about past years and the ideas behind the bracket here:

Personally, for maximum involvement, I’ve assigned each student in our middle school an animal. They will prepare a 1-minute presentation to convince their peers that their animal should win and then we will follow along, cheering for the animals as they win and crying for those who lose.

Right now, as kids research their animals, they are devoted, excited and happy. There is friendly “smack talk” about whos animal will beat which other animals in the room. It’s a perfect end to our classes before the break starts and it is channelling their energy into something productive.

In March, once we return from break, I expect this to take a few minutes each day out of our class time, but I expect the knowledge of animals and habitats to increase, that we will have a moment to bond over our shared desire to see a particular animal win and I expect for the kids to have a lot of fun.  I’m looking forward to it, and perhaps you will be too once you look into it.

What fun things do you do in your classes that add value and allow you the opportunity to create and develop relationships with your students?


5 thoughts on “March Mammal Madness

  1. I’ve always wanted to try MMM, though I have hesitated, worrying that March break would render it mostly old news. Is there a competition and winner revealed every day through March? I like your idea of spending a few moments every day. If a student kept up on the standings through March break would that ruin it for everyone else? I have read the teacher instructions a million times and I am still none the wiser. It is possibly truly a “learn to do by doing” resource. I can’t wait to find out how it goes for you!

    • Hello,
      I think one could keep up on it, but by the time we get back only two rounds have been released, both divisional, so only affecting two of my 4 classes participating. There is a battle released 2-3 times a week in March, with the champion released in early April. I didn’t tell my kids they could look it up on twitter, but it doesn’t mean a keener kid won’t try and find it. I’m rather hopeful that they will have enough non-school things to keep them busy over the break to minimize their chances of looking it up. The schedule has them releasing the wild cards on March 11th and then announcements on the 13th, 14th, 18th, 19, 21st, 25th, 26th, 28th and then April 1st and April 3rd. I am going to learn by fire, but it should be fun. The enthusiasm had all the teachers next door dropping into our class today to see what all the excitement was about.

      • Thanks to your mention of MMM I ended up taking the leap and announcing it at morning meeting last Monday. Though I am not with my classes this coming week we will at least have a faculty pool and I am the pool manager. Learn to do by doing! Thanks, Mary-Ellen!

  2. As an avid fan of March Madness (Basketball), I love how this same bracket approach is being used here. I’ve seen it used for books as well.

    One thing that I do that is fun for students is a daily question. The white board sits outside my office, and I change the question daily. Sometimes, it’s current issues, trends, etc… but sometimes it’s Math or Science, quotations, etc…

    Maybe I’ll find a way to do something like this with it!


  3. Oh my goodness, I’ve been seeing this all over Twitter and I wondered about it! I had no idea what it was all about and who ran it. Thank you for sharing – it sounds like such a fun addition to your classroom 🙂

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