Celebrity Punnett Squares

Well, not quite.

Picture 18

As you can see, the product ended up being more like New Math than a Punnet square but I liked the original title and have no idea what I’d call this post. Anyway, this idea would give students a totally different view of a character if you did it and it would show their understanding of the character (historical or literary) if they did it. Throw in some subtraction, squares or division and things could get a lot more complex. It certainly beats most character analysis/biographical sketches I’ve seen.

You can see the progression of my thoughts below.

date
So the original inspiration was this XKCD comic that had been bouncing around in my head for a few days and I woke up one morning with an idea.

You could have a lot of fun crossbreeding famous people to get literary or historical characters (or the other way round). And, yes, I do often wake up thinking about crossbreeding famous people for educational purposes.

As I looked up Punnet square information (it has been a while) I realized a few things. One, it isn’t spelled punnit square. Two, I’d forgotten that they were either really simple or fairly complex, at least for the limited use I wanted them for. So I scratched that idea but I still wanted to do something similar. That’s where the simplicity of New Math came in. I think it’s a pretty decent idea; not great, but pretty decent.

Part of the point here is I read, listen to, and watch a ton of odd things. Things totally and utterly unconnected with education as we know it. Many people would see that as a waste of time. I see it as research.

Comments on this post

  1. Shannon H said on September 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Get out of my brain!
    That is how we understand the world don’t we? Through using metaphor and comparisons we are better able to understand abstract or new ideas. Even though the math you are using may seem silly it makes complete sense if you are trying to help someone understand something that is outside of their construct of knowledge.

    On a random note when you said New Math I thought you would be talking about this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obIGsb-IZMo

    • Tom said on September 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      Shannon,

      I think you said it better and more simply than I ever have.

  2. Shannon H said on September 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I have the distinct advantage of being young and ignorant so I do not feel pressure to know it all and I can learn from other people without feeling like I am stupid.
    All of that to say that I did not come up with those ideas on my own by any means. It is others peoples words that pour out of me on the lines from time to time.
    So just think of it as me passing on some words, a stream of knowledge, your way. In addition, your words have helped shape my thinking too so really I’m just giving back what has already been given.

    • Tom said on September 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm

      Ha. Well. I’m old (relatively) and still feel little pressure to know everything. In fact, I put pressure on myself to really focus on how little I know.

      You do have that Gardner poetry in your comment. Not as much Jim insanity as I’d expect though.

  3. Ben said on September 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

    AMEN to wasting time…..er research! If only sitting around watching videos on the internet and bookmarking/commenting interesting sites was a marketable skill. At least a skill that schools had money to pay for 🙂

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