Return to Mathematics IndexMaking Predictions

Lucille Chambers Lyman Trumbull School

5200 N. Ashland Ave.

Chicago, Il. 60640

312-534-2430

Objectives:

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

time.Materials Needed:

Clothesline wire (cut to 88 3/4 inches in lengths)

Paper and pencil

Masking tape

TwineStrategy:

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.)Directions:

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

math operations).

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.