Intro to Flatland

Rationale: This is the first lesson of the unit about Intangible destinations. The world of Flatland, Lineland and Spaceland are the 3 worlds that will be first explored amongst time travel (arguably the 4th dimension, and the Internet. This lesson will be an introduction on the world of Flatland and understanding the background of the book and when/where it was written. Students will have both a Social and Mathematical background of the story.

Essential Questions: What is Flatland? How is it different from the world that we live in? What are the difficulties about living there?

Standards:
Geometry
1.0 Students demonstrate understanding by identifying and giving examples of undefined terms, axioms, theorems, and inductive and deductive reasoning.

English 10
Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
2.3 Generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched

Objectives:
  1. After experimenting with the understanding of the 2nd dimension, students will be able to identify the qualities of the 2nd dimension and how it differs from the 3rd by writing a short reflection about it.
  2. After reading through the first section of part 1 of Flatland, students will be able to create questions from the text in which create curiosities or concerns, which can be seen through prediction and reflection free writes.

Assessment: Each student will have to predict what the book is about via a quick write and will be collected at the end of class. This will serve as a formative diagnostic. The quick write will be compared to the exit summary about what they understand about living in “Flatland” and understanding the second dimension. This is an important thing to grasp since that is how the book is written. If there is a contrast between the two quick writes (unless the first one is dead on) then I will see that the students are on track. If little progress is known, then there will need to be additional supplement to the first day. This second summary will be a formative assessment on the day’s material.

Materials: Paper clips, polygon manipulatives

Activities:
Students
Teacher
Launch
  • Every student will have a Flatland book. They will look at the cover and only be told that it was written in the 1880’s in England. They will then write for 5 minutes predicting about what the book is about and complete a KWL chart.
  • Discussion: There will be a class discussion about what the students predicted.
Launch
  • Every student will have a Flatland book. They will look at the cover and only be told that it was written in the 1880’s in England. They will then write for 5 minutes predicting about what the book is about. They will then start a KWL Chart.
  • Discussion (Both Led): There will be a class discussion about what the students predicted.
Explore
  • We will read pages 3-7 together (15 minutes)
  • Debrief: What will you change about your prediction? What does it mean to live in a 2 dimensional world?
  • Simulation: Students will participate in the simulation, by getting a shape. They can only view their shape from the side of the table, so students will be kneeling down while doing this. They will answer questions in their groups:
    • What ways can your shape move?
    • What can’t they do?
    • What is weird about this?
    • What is wrong about this simulation?
    • What are the issues with this, what can or can you not do in this dimension rather than with ours?
  • History: Students will be taking Cornell notes on the history, and will use this as reference while they read the book.
Explore
  • We will read pages 3-7 together (15 minutes)
  • Debrief (both led): Abbot discusses that It’s like taking a book and viewing it from the side. (5min)
  • Character Chart (led by William): (10 min)
    • o Main Character: Name, where he lives, who his father is, What he does for a living.
    • Simulation Activity (led by Julie): (15 min) William will help pass out materials and walk around to make sure students are on task, Julie will give instructions: Boys will chose a polygon to be their shape, girls will get a stretched out paper clip.
      • o What is weird about this?
      • o What is wrong about this simulation?
      • o What are the issues with this, what can or can you not do in this dimension rather than with ours?
      • History: 20 min
        • Social History (William): Men vs. Women, culture, classes. Who was king/queen? How did people live?
          • Gilded age, western industrialization
          • Anglo-Egyptian war (1882)
          • Electric Lighting From Thomas Edison in Ohio. (1880-1882)
          • Rotating Magnetic Fields (1885 Galileo Ferraris of Italy)
          • First Automobile in 1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen
          • Women were close to slavery, looked down upon if not married, could not follow a profession. Having boys were important to the fathers.
        • Mathematical History (Julie): What was happening in that era? What has been discovered before that? Why did Abbot write this?
          • In 1875, Hyberbolic geometry became a fascination with Lobachevsky and Bolyai.
          • Edwin Abbott Abbott was not a mathematician, in fact Flatland was his only book written about math.
          • Leipzig wrote Space has four dimensions in the 19th century before Abbott discussing the idea of time as another dimension.
          • Abbott met John Tyndall who was a British scientist working with the ideas of dimensions in 1871 at a dinner with a mutual friend.
http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/history/19/overview.htm
http://www.math.brown.edu/~banchoff/abbott/Flatland/ISR/
Summarize
  • Discussion: What has changed about your prediction?
  • Free write: Free write on the same topic, plus how would you feel about living in Flatland? What are your concerns about living life in flatland? How is the culture of the 1880’s in England going to affect the story?
Summarize
  • Discussion (led by both) 5 min: What has changed about your prediction?
  • Free write (10 min): Free write on the same topic, plus how would you feel about living in Flatland? What are your concerns about living life in flatland? How is the culture of the 1880’s in England going to affect the story?
  • If time, have students read the next few sections on their own
  • Homework: Read 2-4