Math Investigations

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Chapter 19

Part 1: For the problem in the Teacher's Edition, page 504

Students can make their own plan for how they would spend the $50 for the party. Or you can provide them with the data sheet in the Activity Page (PDF file).

Data Sheet

As you observe students, ask questions such as the following to help guide them as they make the circle graph.

  • What fraction of the $50 are you spending on food?
  • How would you show the amount you are spending on food on the circle graph?


Answers will vary if students create their own plan for how to spend $50 for a class party.

If students use the data we have provided, they should have a circle graph that looks like this.

Circle graph divided as follows: food one half food, decorations one quarter, prizes one eighth, and plates, eating utensils, cups one eighth

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 2 on relating fractions, decimals, and percents.

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.

Before students begin this investigation, brainstorm some survey question ideas with them.

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

Doing the Investigation

Help the students find an organized way to collect the data for the survey. They might want to begin by asking each member of the group the survey question. If there are four people in the group, they would then need to ask six more people. One way they might organize the collection of data is to have each group member ask a certain number of people the survey question.

In order to write their results as percents, students can first write the results as fractions. The denominator of each fraction will be ten, since the students surveyed ten people. If they multiply both the numerator and the denominator of the fraction by ten, they will get a fraction with 100 in the denominator. This makes it easy to convert the fraction to a percent.


Answers will vary.

Student Report

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

Extending the Investigation

Have students make a circle graph to show the results of their survey.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5