Category: Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

It’s latke time

In my family it is traditional to eat latkes (Yiddish for potato pancakes) at this time of year.  They are fried in a lot of oil and salted generously.  My mom’s latkes were wonderful but they couldn’t have been good for…

Do I have enough wrapping paper?

I have to wrap this box. In this problem based activity students first guess and then try to calculate whether they will have enough paper to wrap this present without taping pieces of wrapping paper together. …with this wrapping paper …

Giant macaroon nutcracker, revisited

Each year the Boston Ballet highlights the holiday season with the Nutcracker ballet.  In 2014, the Boston Ritz Carlton Hotel’s chef, Andrew Yeo and his pastry team, created a gorgeous and massive Nutcracker cake of macaroons and fondant to celebrate the…

Halloween tricks and treats – 13 activities

How many houses can you get to – It’s Halloween. Time to trick or treat.  How long will it take you to get to all of these houses?  This is a very open-ended task, counting, trick or treating strategies, distance and more.…

Collecting the most candy!

Use your student’s Halloween enthusiasm to do a study on volumes.  We’ve created an activity that asks students to calculate the volume of candy containers that are silly and intriguing.  Skip the cone and the sphere to make this activity…

August meteor showers

Conditions will be favorable for excellent views of the Perseids meteor showers in early to mid-August.  Let students read charts, analyze data, work with percent of moon visibility at each phase, and understand apparent magnitude in the night sky with…

Lighting the Olympic Torch

The 2016 Summer Olympic games won’t begin until on August 5th of this year but already the Olympic Torch has been lit and is traveling to the game’s site, Brazil, by 12,000 relay participants. Watch the lighting video and wonder…

The longest day

On Monday, June 20th, at 06:34 pm EST, the Earth’s North Pole will be tilted as far towards the Sun as it will ever be in the year.  This marks the longest day of the year and the summer solstice in the…

The Boston Marathon

Monday, April 17, Patriot’s Day, is the next running of the Boston Marathon. What do you know about marathons? What do you know about the Boston Marathon? How long do you think the marathon is? Make your best guess. How…

Giant chocolate bunnies

Topper Chocolate Easter Bunny from Dilettante Chocolates. What can you deduce about the bunnies (pictured in this activity) from the descriptions given … solid? hollow? cost per pound? cost per height? Anything else? The activity: GiantChocolateBunnies.pdf

It’s Girl Scout cookie time

Have you ever wondered how the income from Girl Scout cookie sales is distributed to the individual girls, to their Troops, or to the organization? In this activity students learn a little about the organization of the Girl Scouts, try to…

Data on the National Mall sites

Activity #1 – Look at the individuals who are memorialized on the National Mall and using fractions or percents decide what you can notice about those we honor.  If you would like to show images of the monuments and memorials to…

Soda Menorah

Happy Holidays! This Soda Menorah was on display in a Florida Target store.  It is made up entirely of 12-packs of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids a minute or two to…

Not enough mashed potatoes

Using his famous mashed potato recipe, Brian has asked students to change decimals to fractions, to calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, to explain their thinking in calculating these figures and to judge how many servings could be created…