Math in Our World

As an introduction to our year in math this year, I wanted to get the kids looking at all the ways the math that they were going to encounter would actually be found in the real world.  So last week, our first week back, I sent the kids on a little scavenger hunt.

I gave them each a little sheet of paper (which you can get here) with some math terms and items that we would be studying this year.  Things like negative numbers, percents, and decimals all made an appearance on the sheet.  I then asked them to look through magazines, newspapers, and the internet for examples of each.  They could be creative in how they interpreted each of the categories (ie: a box of cereal from an ad could be considered a polygon), but each category had to have at least two things that were representative of the math.  If they couldn't find a suitable picture in the magazines, newspaper, or internet, I did allow them to draw a picture....though I discouraged it slightly.  I just wanted them to actually see how math was all around us in the every day objects that they would be dealing with and drawing the picture didn't seem too "authentic" to me. 

Once all of the pictures were cut out, they then mounted them on a piece of paper (I just cut some tag board in half...easy peezy) and created a collage of their math findings!  I did ask them to label the collage, so most kids just cut out the labels from the scavenger hunt page itself and glued it on. 

These really came out so cute!  I mounted them on the bulletin board for all to see, AFTER we discussed how the math we were going to be learning really was found all around us!  The kids enjoyed it too....though I suspect they like anything that involves cutting.  ;)


  1. This is such a fun and EASY idea! I love it! It probably looks great as a display in your room! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Young Teacher Love Blog

  2. I love that idea!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Hodges Herald

  3. Stephanie
    This is a great way to have them cover their math notebooks or folders too. Even if the kids worked in pairs, they could divide up what they found.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  4. Oh - I LOVE this idea - what a way to introduce real-life math concepts! Perfect! I think I'm going to give this a go during the first week.

    Runde's Room

  5. Oh I wish I haven't finished my first week. It would have been perfect to do.
    Question - were your students aware of what the terminology meant before the scavenger hunt? I am concerned that my students will not be able to find accurate pictures for that reason alone.


  6. We did a math project that I found on Pintrest, but I so wish I had seen this first!

  7. Stephanie, thanks so much - I'm definitely doing this! Did you assign it for classwork or homework and was it independent or a partner activity?

  8. Definitely going to do this the first week of school! Something about magazines and newspapers that make the kids go nuts. They'll love it!



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