Category: Math and Social Studies

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.

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…

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?

Halloween spending 2021

Use our current data on Halloween spending in America to engage your students in an analysis of the ratios and percents of population, participation, and money spent in honor of October 31st. This activity takes kids through finding parts of wholes as well as ratio, percents and proportion problems.

Federal debt and deficit – What are they?

What’s the big deal with our national debt?  Do we actually borrow money to cover our debt?  If we do, imagine the interest charges? Help your students (and their families) understand the meaning and repercussions of too much debt. The…

Indigenous Peoples or Columbus Day

*** Two activities *** When Columbus landed in Guanahani (renamed San Salvador, Bahama Islands by Columbus), he began the European settlement of the New World. Guanahani was inhabited by the Taíno people and it wasn’t really a new world. In this…

Labor Day 2021

What is this holiday about?  Are we celebrating the start of school?  New cars? The end of summer? Students look for patterns in the history of Labor Day dates. They then use those observed patterns to predict future dates of the holiday.

Back to school activities

Who’s going back to school? – Students calculate the historical changes in U.S. population percentages of people who are going back to school and try to formulate reasons for these variations. 6.EE, 6.RP.3, 6.SP, 7.EE, 7.RP.3, 7.SP Does it pay to get…

Let’s learn to gerrymander

In this activity student try to redistrict our pretend state in order to preserve the overall state’s leanings in its new districting plan.  Then students redistrict the same state in a way that insures that the minority party will win the next election.

Ranked Choice Voting in NYC

New York City is still tallying its election results for a new Mayor.  This year they tried Ranked Choice Voting.  What does that mean? How does that work?  What are the ramifications of this sort of voting? Do you think that this will be a fairer and more positive way of electing a Mayor? Students experiment with the technique of tallying the votes using our flow chart and make some observations and decisions about the process.