Lesson Plan, Manual


At the end of the popular musical Les Misérables, a dejected Inspector Javert throws himself off a bridge and into the River Seine. As he falls, he sings…and sings…and sings. According to the song, he falls for a full eight seconds!In this lesson students use quadratic functions and information about how objects fall (i.e. gravity) to determine how high Javert’s bridge must have been. Then, they use linear functions to figure out how fast he was traveling when he hit the water, and whether we can believe anything that Broadway says…er, sings.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Mathematics > Algebra
  • Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics > Arithmetic
  • Mathematics > Equations
  • Mathematics > Estimation
  • Mathematics > Graphing
  • Mathematics > Measurement
  • Mathematics > Number Sense & Operations
  • Mathematics > Patterns
  • Mathematics > Problem Solving

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


functions equations quadratic linear non-linear motion gravity falling object body time speed distance graphing graphs model predicrtions math real-world problem solving applications critical thinking Common Core State Standards CCSS



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Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 2, as of 2011-10-14.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 2
Content Accuracy: 2
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

Good for teaching students how to predict and calculate the motion of a falling object in terms of time, speed and distance, allowing for the force of gravity.

Not Rated Yet.

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