February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil will again, with great ceremony, come out of his burrow and look for his shadow. Let your students check out the relative frequency of his accurate predictions in this activity. Are his chances of getting it right better than a coin toss?
Celebrated by one-fourth of the world's population, Lunar New Year begins on Friday, February 1st. This will be the year of the Water Tiger. The year's name is a combination of 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches creating a sequence of year names that eventually repeat.
Students explore the least common multiple of these two cycles without ever hearing the term LCM. They explore some of Asian culture and begin to understand the major significance of this annual event, while they “do the math”.
This activity can be used with any grade level elementary through high school. Younger students might work with patterns, multiples and order of operations. Older students might work with systems of equations to prove how the Mystical Mind Reader works.