The Great Snow Rescue Competition: A Winter PBL Activity

Do your students love PBL? My latest project provides them with a fun, real-world challenge and a lot of great math practice.

This winter, there’s no time to chill! A massive snowstorm has put the town’s winter plans on ice. Mayor Evergreen needs the help of your students to unbury the residents. It’s time for students to lace up their boots, bundle up, and prepare for the Great Snow Rescue Competition!

The Great Snow Rescue Competition is a real-world PBL math project that requires students to budget their money, strategize, and help Mayor Evergreen rescue the residents in town after a major snowstorm. In this PBL, your students are the hero. They will need to use addition, subtraction, and multiplication to choose winter gear, buy snow-clearing equipment, hire a crew, plan a route on their map, and more.

The Great Snow Rescue Competition A Real-World Winter Math Project by Kristine Nannini

Students will complete the six steps of this PBL resource to see how many houses they can unbury from the snow. Each step is a different activity that they must complete. 

Step 1: Pick Your Winter Clothing

Winter PBL introduction

For step #1 of this PBL project, students have to buy some winter clothing to help them stay warm. The better the outfit, the longer they can stay outside! Not only will this project teach them important math concepts, students will have to plan and create a budget so they have money to make other purchases.

Winter PBL: winter clothing page

Step 2: Purchase Your Equipment

WInter PBL: Purchase your equipment page

Students have to purchase some snow-removal equipment to move all the snow! Will they pick a trusty shovel, or ride in style on the mega plow?

Step 3: Hire Some Helpers

Winter PBL: Hiring the crew page

At this step, students have to assess how much (if any) money they have left in their budget. If they have enough, they might want to recruit some special helpers to get the job done.

Step 4: Show How You’ll Clear The Snow

Winter PBL drawing activity

At this step, students have the chance to get creative! They will have to draw a scene in their town that includes all the gear, equipment, and helpers they chose to clear the snow.

Step 5: Find Your Total Distance

Winter PBL calculation page

Students calculate the total distance that they can travel to get the job done. Math skills in this project include addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

Step 6: Clear the Snow

Winter PBL activity pages
Winter PBL Route Distances

Students have to calculate to find the route distances between houses in their town. Then, they have to use that information to map out how many houses they can unbury for Mayor Evergreen.

Winter PBL Town Map

At this step, students will see how many houses they can unbury based on their choices!

Another nice thing about this project is students can replay it multiple times to see how different choices affect the outcome of the project.

Bonus Activity: Writing Prompt

Winter PBL writing prompt

This can be an optional extension activity, or you can complete it with your whole class. The writing prompt asks students: Are shovels, throwers, or plows the best tool to clear snow during the winter? Convince everyone in town that your equipment is the best tool to clear the snow, and provide reasons and evidence to support your opinion. 

In addition to a print version, this resource also includes a digital option.

Click HERE or the button below to check this project out!

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