Math Investigations

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Chapter 4

Part 1: For the problem in the Teacher's Edition, page 74

Students can practice their research skills by finding facts about zebras. You might also provide them with the data sheet that contains information about zebras found on the Problem Worksheet (PDF file).

Ask the students to think of a word problem about zebras that can be solved by using addition. The following are examples of questions students might ask using the information that we have provided.

  • About how much would one of each kind of zebra weigh?
    (772 + 1000 + 750 = 2522; 2522 pounds)
  • About how much water would a zebra drink in two days?
    (14 + 14 = 28; 28 liters of water)
  • About how many pounds of grass would a zebra eat in 3 days? (20 + 20 + 20 = 60; 60 pounds)
  • There are 15 zonkeys and 21 zorses on a farm in Africa. How many zebra hybrids are on the farm? (15 + 21 = 36; 36 hybrids)

If students do their own research, the word problems they write will depend on the information they find.

Have students find solutions to the word problems they write. You might want to have them trade word problems so they can solve each other's word problems.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 7 on adding greater numbers.

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.

Make sure that students understand that a game park is a park where animals such as zebras, elephants, and lions are protected.

Make sure that the students know that a kilometer is a measure of distance. A kilometer is about twice as long as a mile. The distances are given in kilometers, which is part of the metric system of measurement used in Kenya.

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

Doing the Investigation

Have students share both their solution and how they found the solution.

Here is the mileage for each tour:

Tour A
Nairobi — Masai Mara — Nairobi — Amboseli — Nairobi
Mileage: 820 km

Tour B
Nairobi — Amboseli — Nairobi — Kakamega — Nairobi
Mileage: 1106 km

Tour C
Nairobi — Aberdare — Nairobi — Masai Mara — Nairobi
Mileage: 910

Here are the tours in order from least to greatest mileage.

Tour A, Tour C, Tour B

Student Report

The report gives students an opportunity to show what they have done.

Extending the Investigation

Have the students find the game parks on a map of Kenya.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3