Category: Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

Lunar New Year 2022 – Year of the Tiger

A combination of 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, the year’s symbol creates a sequence of year names that eventually repeat. Students explore the least common multiple of these two cycles without ever hearing the term LCM.

Martin Luther King, Jr and social justice

We have 6 activities on Martin Luther King and the movement to a more fair and equal representation of Black lives in America. A timeline of KIng’s life; a timeline of the social justice movement; the history of Jackie Robinson; data on which monuments in the National Mall are most visited; a study of crowd counting; and an examination of the recent changes in the Bears Ears Monument size and the reasons for that change.

Before the holidays activities (19 ideas)

 Giant Macaroon Nutcracker – In 2013, Chef Andrew Yeo, built a giant macaroon nutcracker in a Boston hotel using given amounts of ingredients. Students try to figure out how much of each ingredient I will need to make a similar but much…

Will one roll be enough?

Students can use the man or the basket as a reference as they try to approximate the size of these gifts and how much wrapping paper will actually be needed. Approximation, surface area, reasoning explanation, and diagraming! An X-box is…

Holiday shipping

These two companies carry a lot of our packages. What can you tell about them by the numbers? Does delivering a little percent late really equal to not many packages late?

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.

Hanukkah is almost here!

Egad, Hanukkah begins this year on Sunday evening, November 28th. I think it was in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar and appreciate the incredible mathematics involved in creating a…

Shopping season already!

We used to see holiday sales right after Thanksgiving but, surprisingly, holiday shopping has already begun. Sales are advertised everywhere.  Students will be able to add some understanding and analysis to those shopping trips after calculating savings in dollars and…

Veterans Day 2021

Here are two very different maps about where Veterans live in the U.S. and which states have the largest density of Veterans citizens. What do these two maps make you wonder or realize? How can you explain their comparison?

End of Daylight Savings time confusion

In this activity students try to figure out how time settings will change as they move from place to place and what variables are involved in the daylight savings time shift. Day length? Latitude?

Halloween activities – 13 activities

How well can you predict your candy haul? – Students consider how to determine their best predictions of their candy haul.  The math ideas of measurement error and percent error are introduced.  Students then predict their own Halloween candy collection…