This week we began the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Today I thought I would share a few of the math activities we have been doing.  They are obvious ideas but perhaps new in the application in this story!  I wanted to take the concepts of “enormous” and “giant”  and bring them to life with math.

The Giant's Hand and Estimation

  1. I had a super large hand photocopied on paper that we estimated how many beans would fit in the palm of the “giant's” hand.  Guesses ranged from 4 to 1000.   We counted out exactly how many would fit – which was 114 beans.  They wrote that on the paper.
  2. Next, I asked the students to trace their hands either inside the giant's hand or on the back.  They estimated how many beans would fit in their paper hand.   They counted the beans and found the answer.
  3. They wrote their answers on their paper hand.

The Giant's Foot and Non Standard Measurement

I made the giant's shoe print by tracing a boot and blowing it up on the copier (legal size).  I made two shoe prints for each student.
I had each child cut out two Giant's shoe prints.  They explored the Giant's shoe print by comparing it to their own foot size.
I modeled measuring the group time carpet with the Giant's shoe print.  I then let the children measure different things in the classroom.  They brainstormed a list of things to measure at home.
One student asked if he could measure the Giant's foot with cubes.  It was 16 cubes long.  He then suggested that we could figure out how many cubes the things we measured were using this information!  Pretty cool!