Number Scouts

Math Activity

What makes up a community? People, of course. Then there are the other living things, such as plants and animals. There are also buildings, streets, schools, businesses, and vehicles. This activity makes students aware of one other important element in a community: numbers.

WHAT YOU NEED

• Teacher helpers: adults/ family members
• Poster boards
WHAT TO DO
1. Have students form groups of Number Scouts. Tell students they are going to search for numbers in their neighborhood. Their goal is to find not only as many numbers as they can, but to find out what those numbers do and why they are important.

2. Make each group responsible for a section of the neighborhood or for a particular place (such as a gas station, convenience store, post office, drugstore, or library).

3. Have groups, accompanied by teacher helpers (adult family members, or friends) visit their sites and take notes on how numbers are used. A visit to a gas station, for example, might yield a list like this:

Numbers . . .

. . . measure how many gallons of gas are pumped
. . . tell how much the customer must pay per gallon/liter
. . . tell how much the customer must pay
. . . give prices on snacks, tires, maps, and other things
. . . are on license plates of cars
. . . are on credit cards
. . . are on money (bills and coins)
. . . are on the cars' odometers and speedometers

4. When all the groups have gathered their number information, have them share the information by creating a poster, in list or chart form, of the numbers they observed.

TEACHING OPTIONS

• Students can create a mural of Neighborhood Numbers. Each group would be responsible for painting the site they visited and showing the numbers they observed.

• Students who enjoy writing might compose a story in which a community wakes up to find out that all the numbers in town took the day off. What would it be like?