Making formulae concrete

Sarita Suryadevra

paper-boat As a teacher I am always looking for new and innovative ways of making a concept simpler for my students to understand. In the school I teach, teachers are encouraged to experiment without the fear of success or failure. I was struggling to teach marginal productivity to my students. The math formula was really difficult for them to understand. As I was trying to clarify their doubts, an idea struck me. I discussed it with the students. They were excited, and the next day we conducted the following activity.

Class: 9C [NIOS]
Subject: Economics
Title: Production
Objective: To make students understand the concept of marginal productivity
Method: Activity based learning

The students set up an imaginary toy boat manufacturing factory named ARGO II.
Three observers and four volunteers as labourers, one time keeper, and one floor manager were chosen.
The concept was explained through three sub activities.

Activity 1

  1. Four labourers were given two minutes to make identical paper boats. The size of the paper used was 18 cms.
  2. They made five boats, of which one was imperfect, hence rejected by the floor manager.
    Observation: Efficiency of labour varies.

The author teaches history, geography, economics and economic applications at Vidya Valley School, Pune. She can be reached at

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