Math Investigations

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Chapter 15

Part 1: Home and School Investigation

Send the Letter to Family (PDF file) home with each child. For the activity, put the children in pairs. Have the children share their ads with each other and compare the prices. Have them figure out which item costs more. When the children are finished, have each pair share what they found with the rest of the class.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 5 on adding and subtracting amounts of money.


  • Use the Investigator Worksheet (PDF file) to make a blank storybook for each child by cutting out the pages and stapling them together.
  • crayons and pencils

Introducing the Investigation

Introduce the investigation by asking the children to imagine that they have been given 99¢. Ask them to tell how they would spend it all. Tell the children that they are going to write a story about someone giving them 99¢. In the story they will tell how they spent all the money.

Doing the Investigation

Give a blank storybook to each child. Have each of them write his or her name on the front cover as author of the book. You might want to do the second page with the children together and help them get started on the third page. After children have worked for a while, you might want to give them a clue by telling them they should end up with 0¢.

Make sure the children understand how to record each way on the worksheet.

Page 2: 84¢
Page 3: 80¢
Page 4: 41¢
Page 5: 16¢
Page 6: 0¢

Extending the Investigation

After the children have written their storybooks, you might want to read to them the book, Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst. In the story, Alexander gets $1 from his grandparents. He spends his money on bubble gum and renting his friend's snake for an hour. By the end of the story his money is gone.

Ask the children what the difference is between the amount of money Alexander got and the amount of money they got. Ask the children if there is any difference between what they ended up with and what Alexander ended up with.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 2