Math Investigations

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Chapter 14

Part 1: For the activity in the Teacher's Edition, page 380

Provide students with a copy of the Problem Worksheet (PDF file).

Guide the students with the following questions:

  • How would you find the length of the human chain? (Add the heights of all of the students.)
  • What is the sum of the heights of all of the students? (805 cm)
  • Is the Human Chain greater than or less than eight meters long? (greater than) How do you know? (Possible explanation: one meter = 100 centimeters, so eight meters = 800 centimeters. 805 is greater than 800, so the Human Chain is greater than eight meters long.)

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 1 on centimeters.

Materials

  • centimeter rulers and meter sticks

Introducing the Investigation

Introduce the investigation by reading aloud the assignment at the top of the first page of the Description of Investigation and Student Report (PDF file), by having one of your students read aloud the assignment, or by having the students read the assignment individually.

Select three different objects of different heights for the students to measure.

Put students in groups of two to four to work on the investigation.

Doing the Investigation

As you observe students playing the game, observe carefully how they are making their measurements. Give them some help if they need it so that their measurements are accurate.

Use the following data if you chose not to have students actually measure objects. Ask the students to find the difference between the estimate and the actual measurement for the three objects measured by each team. Find the total difference for each team and decide which team won. The winning team is the team with the lower score.

Team A
Object Estimate Measurement Difference
pencil 10 cm 12 cm  
piece of paper 17 cm 18 cm  
paper clip 3 cm 3 cm  
Total  

Team B
Object Estimate Measurement Difference
pencil 15 cm 12 cm  
piece of paper 16 cm 18 cm  
paper clip 2 cm 3 cm  
Total  

Answers:

Team A
Object Estimate Measurement Difference
pencil 10 cm 12 cm 2 cm
piece of paper 17 cm 18 cm 1 cm
paper clip 3 cm 3 cm 0 cm
Total 3 cm

Team B
Object Estimate Measurement Difference
pencil 15 cm 12 cm 3 cm
piece of paper 16 cm 18 cm 2 cm
paper clip 2 cm 3 cm 1 cm
Total 6 cm

Student Report

The Student Report gives students an opportunity to show what they have done. It also provides the scores that can be compared with other teams.

Extending the Investigation

Play the game again with longer objects or distances measured in meters.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3