Category: Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

Get ready for Pi Day!

8 possible activities! Celebrate π in your school and in your math class with activities that demonstrate how π was derived; visually show why π makes sense; show a surprising place where π is used; increase students ability to measure and long divide; applauds…

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, will be the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent.  Mardi Gras is a last hoorah and is celebrated throughout the world with feasting, partying, and general indulgence. In New Orleans…

Valentine’s Day (11 possibilities)

Parametric graphing, heart area, chocolate volume, making a heart-shaped cake, pie charts of holiday candy sales, how many cans in a can heart canstruction, where do all of those flowers come from, best deal on bagged candies, making a cardioid … Valentine everything!

Lunar New Year 2019 – Year of the Pig

Year of the Earth pig Lunar New Year begins on Tuesday, February 5th. This will be the year of the Earth Pig.  The year name is a combination of 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches creating a sequence of…

Cost of a Super Bowl ad

1993 McDonald’s Super Bowl commercial Here’s another Super Bowl analysis to motivate your students. 5 million dollars for a 30-second ad.  That is how much a one-half minute commercial will cost during the 2019 Super Bowl game.  Wonder how much it…

Super Bowl numerals, 2019

Super Bowl numbers are appearing again. As students start getting into the current Super Bowl hype, help them to understand the notation that the sports writers and advertisements are using. Introduce Roman numerals to your class.  In this activity students learn…

Martin Luther King, Jr. (4 activities)

Data on the National Mall sites – Two data analysis activities about the National Mall. Who do we honor? – What people or events are included in the National Mall monuments? Students use fractions or percents to decide what they can notice…

Will we be “in our prime” this year?

Every birthday I consider whether I’m in the “prime of my life” … like when I was 29 years old.  Will this new year be a prime year?  I hope so. Don’t use Google or Siri or whatever.  Just see…

Times Square Ball Drop

Share the data in your class and ask what the numbers make your students wonder and what they can observe from the information. Happy New Year!

Winter and holiday posts (16 great activities)

Soda Santa

Winter Solstice – Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth’s tilt and the logic of daylight hours. 7.G.3, HSG.C, HSG.GMD.4, HSG.MG.1 –  Updated for 2018! Soda Santa – First students guess too…

How many lights should I buy for my tree?

Check out our Christmas Tree.  We need to buy lights for the tree.  Without calculating, guess how many feet of lights you will need. What information do you need to better estimate the number of feet of lights that you…

Wrapping presents on the diagonal

In this activity students determine if this method for minimizing wrapping paper is actually more efficient then the traditional method. For a hands on learning experiment, have students actually wrap a small rectangular prism using any available paper in both the traditional and diagonal methods. Then let them compare the two quantities of wrapping paper and decide which method uses less paper and by what percent.

Moneymaking holiday movies

Which movie do you think is the highest grossing holiday movie of all time? Students analyze holiday movie data. They will round, estimate, compare, calculate percent increase, consider the most appropriate graphical representation and graph the data.