Maths - It's a kind of magic

26th October 2012 at 01:00

What it's all about

The Year 3s were delighted when they trooped into their maths class to find a party had taken place overnight - a party held by magical people, some the size of fairies, others the size of giants, writes Tony Cotton.

On the floor were items hastily discarded as the guests rushed to leave, and a letter from Chief Inspector Twinkletoes: "We have reason to believe that a magical party took place in your classroom. We need your help to apprehend the suspects. On your tables is evidence to help you create a life-size image of the magical people."

The children paired up (mixed abilities) before forming groups of six. In front of them was carefully wrapped "evidence". One group had some tiny shoes, another a pair of flippers from a doll, a third a photocopy of an enlarged thumbprint, a fourth some large clogs, and on the final table was a huge handprint.

One group realised that they could measure the proportions of their own bodies, then use the small shoe to work out the length of the legs and arms of their magical person. (The leg, for example, turned out to be three shoes long.) Another group calculated that the thumbprint was four times as long as their own and worked out the dimensions of their giant accordingly.

At the end, each group explained their calculations and forwarded the evidence to the chief inspector.

The children adored the lesson and we were impressed by their emerging understanding of ratio and proportion.

What else?

Pupils must work out measurements for a witch's brew in Miss C's Halloween maths challenge. bit.lywitchbrew

Try Greenteaaddict's spooky sums game. bit.lyspookysums.

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