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The Giant Sicilian Pizza

by Robert Kaplinsky


Act One

  • 1.

    What is a guess that is too low?

  • 2.

    What is a guess that is too high?

  • 3.

    What is your best guess?

  • 4.

    What factors may affect the accuracy of our answer?

  • 5.

    What information do we need to figure it out?

Act Two

  • Teacher note
    My favorite part about this problem is that neither answer that Modern Marvels gives will likely match the answer students come up with. Students will have to decide whether or not the answer is close enough to be considered correct. As it turns out, Modern Marvels got one correct and the other is actually wrong.
  • Teacher note
    This problem will likely begin by students first calculating the area of the 54″ square pizza and getting 2,916 square inches (54″ x 54″). When you play the answer and students hear “that’s almost 3,000 square inches of steaming hot pizza,” they will have to determine whether that answer seems reasonable and decide on what they think the voice over should have said.

Act Three


  • Teacher note
    The second problem is where it gets more interesting. Students will have to determine the dimensions of the pizza delivery box to find its area. If the pizza is a 54″ square, then the delivery box must be at least an inch or two bigger on each side. That gives an area of 3,025 to 3,136 square inches. When you play the answer and students hear “the giant pizza delivery box is 56 square inches”, I hope minor chaos ensues. Students will be forced to question or defend their answers. In this case, Modern Marvels is certainly wrong and should have said it is either “a square that is 56 inches on each side” or “3,136 square inches”.
  • VideoGiant Sicilian delivery box - Question
  • VideoGiant Sicilian delivery box - WRONG answer

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