Math Investigations

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Chapter 1

Part 1: For the activity in the Teacher's Edition, page 2

Students can practice their research skills by finding facts that contain numbers about a landmark in your state. Or you can provide them with the data sheet with information about the Seattle Space Needle found on the Activity page (PDF file).

If students have looked up their own data, have them share what they have found.

Have the students discuss which numbers are the numbers used to count and which numbers are the numbers used to measure. A number used to measure would have a unit of measurement with it, for example, feet, tons, seconds, etc. A number used to count tells how many of something there are.

Answers for Data Sheet:

Facts about the Seattle Space Needle

  • There are 25 lightning rods that protect the tower. (number used to count)
  • The height of the Space Needle is approximately 605 feet above ground level. (number used to measure)
  • The steel structure weighs 3,000 tons. (number used to measure)
  • The foundation sinks 30 feet into the ground, anchored by 5,800 tons of concrete. (numbers used to measure)
  • There are 3 glass elevators that can hold 30 people. (numbers used to count)
  • Elevators travel upward at the rate of 800 feet per minute, taking 43 seconds to reach the top. (numbers used to measure)
  • The Space Needle has 832 steps from the basement to the SkyCity restaurant. (number used to count)
  • There are 3 restaurants located in the Space Needle. (number used to count)
  • The legs of the Space Needle are 500 feet high. (number used to measure)
  • It took 400 days to build the Space Needle. (number used to count)

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 5 on place value through hundred millions.

Introducing the Investigation

Introduce the investigation by reading aloud the letter from Mio Okubo on the first page of the Description of Investigation and Student Report (PDF file), having one of your students read the letter aloud, or having the students read the letter individually.

Have students work on the investigation in groups of two to four. Have each group choose one of the monuments to write questions about. You may want to have half of the students write questions about the Washington Monument and the other half write questions about Mount Rushmore.

Students can use research skills to find information about the Washington Monument or Mount Rushmore. Or you can provide them with the data sheet containing information on Mount Rushmore and the Washington Monument found in the Description of Investigation and Student Report (PDF file).

Doing the Investigation

As you observe students writing their questions, remind students to check to make sure they have given enough clues so there is only one answer to a question.

Sample Answers:

Example of a Question about Mount Rushmore:

  • I have 4 digits.
  • I have a 2 in my tens place.
  • The digit in my thousands place is 3 more than the digit in my tens place.
  • The digit in my ones place is the same as the digit in my thousands place.
  • The sum of my digits is 19.
  • I tell the number of feet above sea level that Mount Rushmore is.
  • Who am I?
  • I am 5,725.

Example of a Question about the Washington Monument:

  • I have 3 digits.
  • I have an 8 in my hundreds place.
  • The number in my tens place is one more than the number in my hundreds place.
  • The number in my ones place is three less than the number in my tens place.
  • I tell the number of steps in the stairwell of the Washington Monument.
  • Who am I?
  • I am 896.

Student Report
Have students use the Student Report sheet to write their questions.

Extending the Investigation
Have each group write questions about a different monument. Then have them hold a mini Numbers Quiz Show by taking turns giving questions to each other.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 4