A favorite activity…
I used to begin my linear functions unit with The Crow & the Pitcher as a hook for the unit.
PDF link – scroll down to find this page.
I would model the data collection as a whole class. Step by step, finding the average rate of change – and interpreting the change in height per marble, then how we could write an equation model of our data. A context for slope.
We used our equation to predict and discussed the reasonableness of it. And then we tested to see how close we were. A 3-act before I knew that’s what they were called.
Later in years, I stopped being so structured with the task. I found that step by step written instructions somehow interfered with student thinking and discussions. I had supplies available and they designed their own lab, defining the dependent and independent variables, outlining proceedures, writing hypothesis, analyzing data and making predictions on their own, etc.
Each group was given different amounts of water in their containers and some different types of marbles as well.