Use A Chair To Teach Math
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Laura B. Reed Rosa L. Parks
Dixmoor, IL 60426
The student will learn some basic operations of math by measuring a chair.
Folding chair or desk chair, desk, tape measure, paper, graph paper and a box.
Place a folding chair or desk chair on top of a desk so all students can see.
Have students measure the various parts of a chair. (back, legs, seat, height,
All students should make a list of these measurements for their personal use
After measuring the chair, ask the class for answers to questions like the
following: What size box would it take to mail the chair? Could two chairs fit
in the same box? How many chairs could fit in this room? What area of space
does the chair occupy per floor space? These questions should also serve to
motivate students to think up questions of their own.
Give each student a sheet of graph paper and pencil and ask them to plan a
drawing of the chair. Then give them a second piece of graph paper and ask them
to make a second drawing. This time half the size of the first one. How many
chair lengths in one mile (5280ft)? Solicit additional math questions from the
students. Allow time for the students to discuss problems that exist; for
example: "It depends which way the chair is turned!"
Have students use the measurement to find answers to the question asked and list
the operation used. Make sure the students make or find a box for the chairs to
fit in for mailing.