I’ve been looking for different ways I can prioritise my extensive to-do list and I can’t help but focus my attention on the things that really interest me and what I feel needs the most immediate resolution.

In an attempt to build up my efficiency, I tried this whole “kill two birds with one stone” (to be honest, I think killing one bird with just two stones would require a fair amount of effort and either a hungry stomach or strange up-bringing as a child).

Two Birds:

1. My students do not realise who the greatest superhero that has ever lived, died, and lived again is.

2. Although I’d love to just educate them about how many times Goku has saved the world, I still need to teach them the curriculum.

One Stone:

This task.

Turns out that, although I might not look it, I am older than my students enough that we grew up watching different TV shows. While I was watching DragonBall Z and Pokemon, at the same age, my students were watching Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Not that I have anything against those shows, but my students have missed out on a lifetime of fight-scenes that literally last a lifetime.

How does this relate to the Two Birds One Stone notion? Well, while I teach them the ways of the legendary Super Saiyans, I would slip in some maths along the way to prevent anyone questioning my intentions.

So, this is how I do it (in 3-Acts like Dan does):


Play this clip.

Ask students to write down the first question that comes to their mind.

Remind them that it is a maths lesson.

Remind them to respect the greatest hero ever.

Ask for questions to be shared.

Answer trivial questions and acknowledge maths-rich ones.

Focus on the following questions:

  • What did Goku’s power level reach?
  • What was Goku’s starting power level?
  • (Diff calc cue) When was Goku’s power level increasing the fastest?

Take guesses (this task works great as table groups {depending on your class dynamic} – possibly one guess per group)

Create a range.


Play this clip.

Ask students to put their mathemagician hats on and solve the problem.

Ask students to announce their questions in case it related to others (this may give hints to those stuck and too shy to ask for help).

If simply failing, ask students to consider using a graphics calculator to fit a model to the data.

Take calculated guesses.

Discuss the reasonableness and limitations of their models, as well as any assumptions they have made.


Play the answer.

Compare answers to range from Act One and crown winner.

Ask winner to share their story of success and method to their madness with the class.

Write down any questions that could improve this task.


To be continued (i.e. edited when I figure out what it could be).

Hints & Tips

  • The best model I could fit on TI-84 Plus was a cubic regression – this worked out so that his starting Power level was 18,700 and his final Power level was around 367,000… to be confirmed.
  • I taught this to an all-boys Year 10/11 Maths class and made it healthily competitive – worked wonders.
  • Good example of a 100% real life contextual example of modelling a cubic based on data from authentic scouters (Power level readers)
  • I used Windows Movie Maker to edit the clip that I am using for educational purposes, which was found on YouTube. I am not seeking any claim to fame for using the footage – it all belongs to Goku.

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