Invite students to collaborate and construct a life-size maze using addition and measurement.
What you will need:
– Masking tape (in a variety of colors)
– 3 die for each team
What to do:
Take students to a large, open area. Divide students into teams. Each team gets a different color of masking tape, a ruler, three die and a pen. Members on each team take turns rolling dice, finding the sum of the three numbers and contributing to their path by measuring out the number (sum) using masking tape. On each line segment, have students record their measurement on the tape using a pen. That way you can assess their learning. Students can make their paths twist and turn, but they must be connected. The paths kids create will intersect with their peers’ paths, creating a giant life-size maze!
Once the maze is constructed, have the students walk along the different paths of the maze. The different-colored masking tape will help them find their way from start to finish for each path. Next, have the students look for angles throughout the whole maze (Angle Walk). Can they find any acute, right or obtuse angles? Which path has the most angles? Which path has the fewest angles?
Have students look for reoccurring numbers throughout the maze. Have each team write down the measurement of each line segment within their path. Older students can determine the mean, median, mode and range for their list of numbers.
Afterwards, the class can create a graph that shows which angles were the most and least common in their giant maze. Students could also create a graph of the reoccurring numbers. What line segment length was the most and least common?
Depending on age and ability level, this lesson can be differentiated. Students could create a path of just five line segments or they could measure and construct more! The more line segments they have within their path, the larger their maze will be! You could also have students use two dice and multiply the two numbers the dice land on and find the product rather than simple addition. For example, if they roll a 3 and a 5, they measure out a line segment that is 15 inches long. This lesson can also be adapted for younger students using nonstandard tools. For example, they roll a 6, 2 and 1, obtaining a sum of 9. They count out 9 objects and make a line segment with their tape that is 9 objects long.
After they have explored different mathematical concepts with their life-size maze, invite other classes to try out the maze!
Erin Bittman is a student at the University of Cincinnati. She will be a third grade student teacher in the fall. Check out her blog E Is for Explore!