Math Investigations

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Chapter 8

Part 1: Home and School Investigation

Send the Letter to Family (PDF file) home with each child. Once all of the children have brought their constructions in, have each child show his or her construction to the class. Have children talk about the different shapes they see in the construction. Ask questions such as:

  • How many different shapes do you see in this construction?
  • What are the names of the shapes you see?

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 4 on classifying and comparing solid shapes.


  • a collection of solid shapes including cubes, rectangular prisms, cylinders, spheres, square pyramids, cones
  • blindfolds (optional)

Introducing the Investigation

Tell children they are going to play a shape game. Have two volunteers come to the front of the class to help you demonstrate the game. Put a blindfold on one child or have the child close his or her eyes. Have the other child choose a solid. Tell the child with his or her eyes closed that the other child is holding one of the solids you have been studying. His or her job is to ask questions to determine what the shape is. They must be yes or no questions. Also, they cannot ask questions like, Is it a sphere? Have the children play a round of the game.

Doing the Investigation

Observe the children as they are playing the game. Make sure that their questions do not violate the rules you set up, and help any children that are having trouble generating questions. The following are some examples of questions the children might ask:

  • Does it roll?
  • Does it have a point on it?
  • Does it have six faces?
  • Does it have corners?
  • Are any of the faces circles?

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 2