Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reversing the Meat-a-Morphosis machine : inverse functions

A short followup to the post Two Ideas for Introducing Functions.

Yesterday I discovered another payoff from the hilariously gruesome Meat-a-Morphosis video: a powerful and memorable analogy for Inverse Functions. Imagine if we ran the machine backwards - if we put chicken nuggets in and the original chickens came out? My students thought this was hilarious.
Inverse Functions: What if you put in nuggets and out came chickens?
Image adapted from original at Meat-a-Morphosis ( Patty Hill &  Michael Word)

Even more fun: for students still coming to terms with f(x) notation, faced with this:

doesn't this convey the same idea even more clearly?

Put a chicken into the nuggetiser, then into the de-nuggetiser and you get back your chicken
(OK , maybe with  few ruffled feathers and a lot of squawking!)

Who would have thought there was so much laughter in a lesson on functions? Thanks to the Meat-a-Morphosis team at Kealing Middle School, Austin Texas for a wondeful teaching resource.

No comments:

Post a Comment