Math Investigations

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Chapter 7

Part 1: For the problem in the Teacher's Edition, page 170

Students can practice their research skills by finding the number of pounds of their favorite foods Americans eat each year. Or you can provide them with the Data Sheet that shows the number of pounds of different foods each person in America eats each year found on the Activity page (PDF file).

Encourage students to create the table first. It will help organize the information for the bar graph.

Help the students find an appropriate scale for their bar graph. For example, if beef is one of their favorite foods, they might want to have a scale for pounds that goes 0, 5, 10, 15, . . . .

Answers will vary according to the foods selected.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 4 on choosing an appropriate graph.


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

Doing the Investigation

Tell students that their first job in doing this investigation will be to figure out what kind of graph to use to represent the data. You might want to have them refer to Lesson 4 in Chapter 7 to help them make a decision. A double bar graph works well for this data because the data can be counted, students can make comparisons, and students can record two groups of responses separately.

Have students share the graphs they created. Discuss the recommendations for a club name with the students. One strong argument for the Eagles is that it was the favorite name of both the 10- and the 11-year-olds.

Answers for the Data Sheet

double bar graph showing data - graph is titled Votes for Club Name - Horizontal labeled Name and showing names Sharks, Eagles, Pandas - Vertical labeled Number of Votes and showing numbers 0 to 8 - key shows one color for ten year olds, another color for

Student Report

The letter back to Sandra Lew gives students an opportunity to show what they have done.

Extending the Investigation

Have the students the students create their own survey and make a graph of the results.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5