Math Investigations

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Chapter 6

Part 1: For the problem in the Teacher's Edition, page 146

Students can practice their research skills by finding information about the black-browed albatross. Or you can provide them with the Data Sheet that contains information about the black-browed albatross found on the Activity page (PDF file).

Information About the Black-Browed Albatross
  • Wing span: about 6 to 8 feet
  • An albatross egg weighs 7 to 18 ounces when it is laid.
  • Incubation lasts 65 to 85 days.
  • Hatching takes 2 to 5 days.
  • An albatross has an average life span of 30 years.
  • An albatross can fly up to 50 miles per hour.
  • Black-browed albatrosses will keep their nests at a regular distance apart: about 1 1/2 meters.
  • Length: 80 to 95 centimeters
  • Weight: 3 to 5 kilograms

Have students share their paragraphs about the black-browed albatross. You might want to create a booklet containing the paragraphs they have written.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 4 on metric units of length.


  • rulers, yardsticks, and meter sticks

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

Doing the Investigation

Have students brainstorm a list of some things in your school that they could measure for this investigation. Some examples are:

  • the length and height of the classroom
  • the length and height of a desk
  • the length and height of the auditorium or multipurpose room
  • the height of a student

They may need to estimate to get some of these measurements.

Have students share what they have found.

Student Report

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

Extending the Investigation

Have the students research the length and height of other animals and do the same activity.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5