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Lucille Chambers Lyman Trumbull School
5200 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, Il. 60640
This outside activity will help students at any level learn to classify and make
predictions and will teach students about ecology and plant life at the same
Clothesline wire (cut to 88 3/4 inches in lengths)
Paper and pencil
Discuss with students that their school grounds and neighborhood parks can be
the perfect setting for a math lesson. Let's call this activity "Hoop It Up".
MAKE THE HOOP:
1) Cut five pieces of wire 88 3/4 inches long. (Add an extra inch for overlap.)
2) Bend the wires to make hoops.
3) Tape the wire together.
4) Cut ten pieces of twine.
5) String two lengths of twine across each circle to make four quadrants. (A
hoop this size will represent about 1/10,000th of an acre. There are 43,560
square feet in an acre and 1/10,000th of this is 4.356 square feet, which is
the area within the hoop.)
Divide the class into groups of five and give each group a hoop.
Take the class outside on the school grounds or to a park and have the students
toss their hoop onto the ground.
One student should stand beside each quadrant and the fifth should stand near
the hoop with paper and pencil to record the information.
Have each student count the number of things he/she finds within their quadrant.
The students will count plants, insects, rocks and other non-living things.
Students will relate each item that they count to the group secretary.
Upon returning to the classroom ask students to classify their objects in three
groups: plant, insect or mineral.
Question: Which group found the most objects in each category?
Students will predict how many of one item, plants for instance, would be found
in a whole acre.
To do this each group should total the number of plants in its four quadrants.
The hoop represents 1/10,000th of an acre. The groups must, therefore, multiply
their totals by 10,000 (Primary children will need assistance in doing the
Compare the groups' totals. Question: Are the totals similar?
If not, discuss why the groups got different results.
Were some parts of the ground more lush than others?
A more accurate prediction can be made by following these steps:
1) Add the total number of plants found in all groups.
2) Divide by the number of groups and multiply the quotient by 10,000.
Have the students perform this operation and make similar predictions with other
objects on the list.