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: https://libguides.asu.edu/MarchMammalMadness/2019MMM
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?