Math Investigations

Help with Opening PDF Files

Chapter 3

Part 1: For the activity in the Teacher's Edition, page 58

Students can practice their research skills by finding facts about tall ships. Or you can provide them with the Data Sheet found on the Activity page (PDF file).

Tall Ships
Name of Ship Sail Area Capacity Length Overall
SSV Corwith Cramer 7,800 ft2 36 people 134 ft
SSV Robert C. Seamans 8,554 ft2 36 people 134.5 ft
The Schooner Ernestina 8,323 ft2 65 people 112 ft
Christeen 960 ft2 28 people 47 ft
Eagle 1,884 ft2 16 people 68 ft

Ask the students to think of a word problem about tall ships that can be solved by using multiplication.

If you use the data provided, the students might ask questions such as, What is the maximum number of people that the Christeen could carry on three trips? (28 × 3 = 84. The maximum number of people that the Christeen could carry on three trips is 84.)

Students might also imagine that replicas are being made of a ship. One question would be, If nine replicas were made of the Eagle, what would be the area of the sails for all nine ships? (1,884 × 9 = 16,956. If nine replicas were made of the Eagle, the sail area for all nine ships would be 16,956 ft2.)

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 5 on multiplying by two-digit 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 the scale is 1 meter (m) of the ship : 1 centimeter (cm) on the model. All they have to do is to convert m to cm for all of the given dimensions.

Students may need a review of how to find area. Remind them that the area of a rectangle is calculated by multiplying the length by the width.

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.

Data Sheet

Viking Ships
Ship Name Length Overall Width
Oseberg 22 m 5 m
Danmark 60 m 10 m
Aifur 9 m 2 m
Havorn 16 m 4 m
Imme Gram 22 m 3 m

Answers for Data Sheet

Viking Ship Models
Ship Name Wood Needed for Base
Oseberg 110 cm2
Danmark 600 cm2
Aifur 18 cm2
Havorn 64 cm2
Imme Gram 66 cm2

The amount of wood that will be needed is 858 cm2.

Student Report

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

Extending the Investigation

Have the students put the area of the bases in order from least area to greatest area.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5