Here’s an activity I’ve done twice now with my students that is a lot of fun, although it still needs some tweaking to get it to go smoothly. It basically involves growing animals from those fun little magic capsules we had as children, and then measuring their area by tracing them on centimeter squared graphing paper and counting the squares.
Step 1: Materials
a) Buy enough magic capsules for each of your children. I purchased mine for a $1 each at Dollar General.
b) Print out the recording sheets and make copies for each student. (Click the image. A Spanish version is also included.)
Step 2: Preparation
a) Prepare warm glasses of water for each student pair. (Must be warm or the pills will just sit there all day long.)
b) Mix capsules into a cup or two for students to choose from.
c) Cut animal
pictures to display in the camera projector if you have one. Students love to guess which animal they are going to get. Then they check the screen to see which animal they received.
Step 3: Activity Time
a) Split partners into groups of two.
i) Students estimate the area of their animal and then calculate by counting the squares. This is a great opportunity for them to practice combing fractions of squares to make whole squares.