Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

Fantasy Football

In the midst of another NFL season, we introduce students to Fantasy Football. Students first calculate football points given touchdowns, yardage gains and interceptions. They are then challenged to generalize an equation for that gives a player’s total fantasy points. Students…

The Blue Marble

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, is Earth Day. Use this activity to demonstrate the various mappings of our 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper. Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained and…

Mom’s matzo ball soup

Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 22nd, 2016, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish calendar and celebrates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Let your students…

Blue river

Because the Cubs just won the World Series, the plumbers have died the river blue. During the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers union dyes the Chicago River emerald green. Students learn what PPM (parts per million)…

Shamrock Shake

For Saint Patrick’s Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left for our day’s meal allotment after we had lunch and…

Where have all the flowers … come from?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, is Valentine’s Day.  Start the “love hoopla” with this graphic on where all of the flowers come from.  This is part of the graphic from http://visual.ly/valentines-day-facts What fraction of these roses are shaded red?  The red ones…

Moneymaking holiday movies

Which movie do you think is the highest grossing holiday movie of all time (click on the movie to see its trailer)? How the Grinch Stole Christmas,  Elf,  The Santa Clause  or  The Polar Express Students analyze holiday movie data. They…

Chocolates and area

Halloween means lots of candy and chocolate.  In this activity students approximate the volume (through finding the morsel’s base area) of three different pieces of chocolate.  The chocolates are shaped like a heart, a bat (for Halloween) and a chocolate…

~~~ Scary costumes ~~~

Every year Americans spend lots of money on Halloween and Halloween costumes. Use our updated data on Halloween spending in America to engage your students in an analysis of the ratios of population, participation, and money spent in honor of October…

Father’s Day blueberry surprise

Sunday is Father’s Day and there is still time to have a tiny fraction review in the guise of celebrating Father’s Day. This is a short activity that asks students to change the amounts in a blueberry muffin recipe to…

Patriots’ Day

Monday, April 17th, 2017, is the official holiday this year to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War 242 years ago in 1775. (The actual date was April 19th, 1775) Both Paul Revere and the…

Season 12, American Idol

Let your student study American Idol viewing figures over the last eleven seasons. Students compare historical season premier and season finale audience size in several different ways to determine which event has had higher viewership.

Foil prank

Robert Kaplinsky kindly contributed this post.  We think it would make a great April Fools day activity. Check out his site for more great lesson ideas. Watch this movie with your class:   foil_prank The Challenge(s) How much does it cost to…

Chocolates

Valentine’s Day is here again and that means candies and chocolate.  In this activity students approximate the volume (through finding surface area) of three different pieces of chocolate.  The chocolates are shaped like a heart, a bat (for Halloween) and…

Whole lot of cookies

Jennifer Fairbanks from Hopkinton, MA sent us this picture of the cookies that she baked in 4 hours using 13 eggs and 5 cups of sugar. Do you see some math here?