Tiny Tower Project Day 1

I’m really excited about the next two weeks of summer school. Yes, I am a teacher who is VERY excited about teaching summer school.

I started playing the game Tiny Tower on the iPad during the last week of May. It’s addicting, so I don’t encourage you to play it. . . .unless you are wanting to learn something. I looked at the game and tried to figure out a way to play the game in school (without 1:1 iPads) and teach from it. Then my principal Mrs. Wendy Moore (@wlbmoore on Twitter) asked me to teach a

sample building

session of summer school. I was ecstatic! I knew what I wanted to teach!

Students would have time to build their virtual tower each morning. They need to use coins and bucks earned in the game to build more floors to their building as well as stock the businesses with goods to sell. Residential floors house 5


bitizens (the characters in the game) and each business (food, service, recreation, retail, creative) floor uses 3 residents to run the store. Instantly you can see how building your tower and making sure your bitizens have a place to work and all businesses are fully staffed can be difficult to do.

Another part of the day will be to build skyscrapers out of craft sticks and glue. The students are being given a budget of $800 (can earn more by various tasks) to build a skyscraper in groups. Craft sticks come in bundles of 50 ($100), 20 ($50), and different colors for various prices depending on availability.

The only stipulation is the that tower must be at least 20 centimeters tall. At the end of next week there will be a prize for the team who builds the tallest, the team who builds the strongest (text books will be placed on until it collapses), and which team has the most money left over. There will also be a prize for the overall winner based off of those three criteria. (formula is still being worked out)

The remaining time of the mornings will be spent discussing the history of skyscrapers. The building boom of the early 1900s, the architecture of tall buildings, as well as failures of some buildings. Most of these students (grades 6-8) have never seen a skyscraper, so figuring out the height of a building and then laying it flat with students at the top and bottom to understand how tall of them are will happen on Friday.

Students will also be discussing budgets of daily life as well as businesses. Money doesn’t just fall in your lap, so we have to figure out the differences of wants and needs. What do we do with money and how do we budget?

I’m excited to be sharing the project over the next two weeks. Here are some photos taken today.

I also want to thank Mr. Anton Sandoval for trusting me in this crazy adventure of a project and working with me.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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One Response to Tiny Tower Project Day 1

  1. Pingback: Math Through Towers | Random Teacher Thoughts

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