Mathematics Grade 6
Strand: RATIOS AND PROPORTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS (6.RP)
Students will use fruit to learn about portions and percentages.
Teachers need to determine the level of each student's ability to determine percentages. This lesson is based on the assumption that the students have a working knowledge of mathematics involving percent.
The fruit experiment shows students that measurement is always an approximation. Weighing the edible portion and the nonedible portion separately may not provide the same weight measurement as when the fruit is weighed as a whole.
2. Become mathematical problem solvers.
3. Reason mathematically.
4. Communicate mathematically.
6. Represent mathematical situations.
Invitation to Learn
Each student needs a piece of fresh fruit. You may want to have them bring their own fruit from home. Ask them to predict what percentage of their fruit is edible and what percent is not. Observe what fruit other students have and make a prediction about which fruit will have the highest and lowest percentages of edible portions. Which have similar percentages of nonedible and edible portions?
Do this activity along with microorganisms in science. The nonedible portions of the fruits can be added to your decomposition chambers. Information on decomposition chambers is found in Bottle Biology.
Have students find four to six fruits or vegetables at home and estimate what portion of each is edible or nonedible. If possible, students weigh the whole item and its separate parts using a scale from home or checked out from the teacher. Look for other household items made up of parts and weigh or measure the various parts (e.g., The kitchen chair is 40" tall--of that height, 50% legs, 5% seat, and 45% back.).
Thompson, P.W. & Lambdin, D. (1994). Research into practice: concrete materials and teaching for mathematical understanding. Arithmetic Teacher. 41(9), 556-558. ERIC EJ491834.
This article discusses the role of concrete materials in teaching for understanding. It includes research on the use of concrete materials, seeing mathematical ideas found in them, and identifying what teachers want students to understand.
Hartshorn, R. & Boren, S. (1990). Experiential Learning of Mathematics: Using Manipulatives. ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools. Charleston, WV. ERIC ED321967.
This article highlights much of the research on experiential learning in mathematics including the development and implementation of manipulatives in math instruction. It also addresses adherence to national math standards and directions for future research.