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 Roller Coaster! Viewing Ideas

Before Watching

1. Draw a side view of a roller coaster, including several hills and valleys, on the board. Place six chairs in front of the room and invite students in teams of six to "ride the coaster." As you trace the coaster on the board, the riders should position their bodies as if they were at that place on the coaster: leaning to one side, pushing back in their seats, etc. The rest of the class should discuss and comment on the riders' positions at three or four key points along the ride, such as

1. going up a hill,
2. halfway down a hill, or
3. At the top of a loop.

After Watching

1. Discuss students' earlier predictions about body positions on different portions of a roller coaster. Which of their predictions were confirmed by information presented in the program? In what ways might students want to change some of their ideas? Why?

2. On the board, draw a large square and divide it into a grid of nine equal blocks, three across and three down. Label the columns to represent levels of danger in activities: Dangerous, Somewhat Dangerous, Not Dangerous. Label the rows to represent different categories of activities: Fun, Work, Daily Life. Ask students to suggest activities for each box. How do they decide if an activity is dangerous? What influences their decision to participate or not participate in an activity? What are the risks and benefits of participating in or avoiding these activities?

3. Divide the class into four groups. Ask three groups to design and draw an "Ultimate Roller Coaster" for an imaginary theme park. The fourth team will be Coaster Consultants.

• For the first part of the activity, the designers should work on their ideas. The consultants should circulate around the room, watching and listening as their classmates develop their plans.

• When the designs are finished, the teams can present their proposals to the entire class, describing both the thrills and the safety features of their rides.

• After the design presentations, the consultants will meet to discuss the designs. They will then make a presentation explaining what they see as the strengths and potential dangers of each ride, and make suggestions for design modifications as necessary.

 Roller Coaster! Original broadcast:November 16, 1993

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