Math Investigations

Help with Opening PDF Files

Chapter 16

Part 1: For the activity in the Teacher's Edition, page 420

Provide students with a copy of the Activity page (PDF file).

The students can practice their research skills by finding examples of structures that use geometric figures. Or you can bring in some pictures of structures with geometric figures. Some examples you might want to use are the Louvre Pyramid, bridges and tall buildings from around the world, Native American structures, etc.

Decide if you want each student to make a blueprint of the classroom or a room in his or her house.

If you want the students to make classroom blueprints, put them in groups of four. Have each group measure the classroom and draw a blueprint of the classroom showing the dimensions. Have them calculate the perimeter and the area of the classroom. When the groups have finished, have them share and compare their results.

If you want each student to make a blueprint of a room in his or her house, give the students the assignment of deciding on which room they want the blueprint of, measuring the length and width of that room, and creating a drawing that shows its length and width. In class, have the student calculate the perimeter and the area of the room.

Answers will vary.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 3 on area of a parallelogram.


  • rulers
  • grid paper

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.

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

Doing the Investigation

Consider having the students create their floor plans on grid paper. They could use a scale, such as one square on the grid paper being equal to one square foot.

You might want to display the designs and have judges select the best dream house. You might want to have small prizes for everyone who enters the contest and a bigger prize for the winner.

Answers will vary.

Student Report

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

Extending the Investigation

Have the students order the dream houses, from smallest square footage to largest square footage.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5