Many of my readers have been asking me for extended tips on implementing Shark Tank in your classroom (since reading my post on History’s Great Mystery (How can I make my classroom more interactive?!)
This activity is a HUGE hit in my history classroom. This is basically a marketing 101 lesson.
Break students into groups. Each group gets one invention. The group presents the invention and has to sell the items to three – five “ investors”.
The Play by play:
Start the class by asking what technology has changed during their lifetime. How has it changed cultural, social, political and religious interactions?
Then show a pitch from Shark Tank. I like the LuminAID storyline & clip – find it here. Stop after the 2-3 minute pitch. Ask students why the LuminAID pitch was successful. Write answers on the board.
Go on to show more of the clip and introduce the concept of the valuations.
Give students 1-2 class periods to come up with their pitch and then a class period to present. The rest of the class should take notes while the pitches are being presented.
The Lesson Ideas:
Here are a few lesson ideas by topic-
The Industrial Revolution – Invite students to sell you items from the industrial revolution in a game of SHARK TANK. Pick three – five “ investors”. Ask them to sell you investment ideas from the time period such as the Erie Canal, the railroad, the telephone. Teach them how to make a three-minute pitch and calculate how much they need for their investment. Check out my other marketing ideas here.
The High Middle Ages – Ask students to SELL you technological items from the Commercial Revolution in a game of SHARK TANK. These include the windmill and guilds.
The Gilded Age – Ask students SELL you items from the Industrial Revolution in a game of SHARK TANK. Pick three “Robber Baron investors” to imitate Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Rockefeller . Ask them to sell you investment ideas like the Taylorism, the lightbulb, electric power, camera, skyscraper, coca cola, streetcar. Teach them how to make a three-minute pitch and calculate how much they need for their investment.
The Roaring 20s – Invite students to your Speakeasy classroom. The atmosphere should be “isolationist”. Have students dress up as flappers and gangsters to sell investment ideas like the Model T Car, Radio, Jazz Music, Literature, Harlem Renaissance Paintings.
Same idea three minute pitch and calculate how much they need for their investment as the 20s is all about the consumer culture. This is also the time period of advertisements so have them create their own advertisement to sell the product as a extra credit assignment.
The 1950s – Students should investment ideas like the Washing Machine, the Levittown homes, credit cards and TV. Have them make a three minute pitch and calculate how much they need for their investment. Draw synthesis to the 1920s products to wrap up.
Today – Students sell investment ideas like the IPAD, SUV, computer, digital picture frame. Make a three minute pitch and calculate how much they need for their investment. Draw synthesis to the 50s products.
You could always give the winning pitch a nice shark shirt.
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