Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter 3/19/10 - March Madness Math

Grade: 5th-6th

March 19, 2010 | Grades 5&6

In This Issue: Transatlantic Trekker, Redesigning Recess, NCAA Basketball

Row, Row, Row Her Boat

After 70 days on the Atlantic Ocean, Katie Spotz sailed into the record books. The 22-year-old became the youngest person to row an entire ocean solo. She's also the first American to row a boat, without help, from mainland to mainland. 

Activity Ideas - Math

Share this with your child: Spotz's 2,817-mile journey raised more than $70,000 for the Blue Planet Run Foundation. The foundation funds drinking water projects around the world. 

  • If a $30 donation provides one person with a lifetime access to safe water, how many people would $70,000 help? 2,333 people ($70,000 total funds raised ÷ $30 a person = 2,333.3333)
  • A $250 donation buys a latrine for one family. A $70,000 donation would help how many families? 280 families ($70,000 ÷ $250 = 280). 
  • Imagine that each family receiving a latrine is made up of two adults, two children and one grandparent. In all, how many people will be helped by this donation? 1,400 people (280 families x 5 people/family = 1,400 people).
  • Imagine that you had $70,000 to donate. You decide to provide two villages with a complete water system, costing $10,000 per village. How much do you have left? $50,000 ($70,000 - $20,000 = $50,000). 
Learning Tips:
Breaking Down a Complex Problem, Develop Strategies to Help You, Long Division and Division With Decimals

The Power of Play
Hundreds of schools across the country are redesigning recess. Their mission: to get kids moving each day and to teach kids to play well together, for starters. Nonprofit organization Playworks has placed recess coaches in 170 schools. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Together with your child, read "Kids Feel the Power of Poetry in Performance," about slam poetry.
  • Discuss the ways in which gestures and movement can punch up a poem. 
  • Suggest your child plan a slam session with a few friends. Kids who don't want to write a poem can choose a poem or favorite verses from a song.
  • Brainstorm together on ways to physically act out each poem.  
  • Stage a poetry slam with lots of dramatic gestures and movements.

Bonus: The rhythmic pace of jump-roping seems to help kids memorize. Suggest your child memorize a poem while jumping rope. How long did it take him or her? Then have your child memorize a poem of similar length while sitting still. Compare the results. 

Learning Tips: Tone and Meaning in Poetry, Fifth Grade Reading Aloud

The Madness Has Begun

Spring fever isn't nearly as contagious as March Madness, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. On March 18, 65 college teams joined the Big Dance. Stay tuned to nonstop coverage to see which college team will bounce to the top.

Activity Ideas - Math

Have your child pick a player to follow throughout a game, to record his stats—points scored, time on the court, rebounds and assists. At the end of the game, use your player's stats and game stats to calculate the following, using this formula: (Player Stats ÷ Team Stats)

  • Player's percentage of team points. 
  • Player's percentage of play based on 40-minute game (not including overtime). 
  • Player's percentage of assists and rebounds.

Game of the Week

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.


Keep us coming back every week. Add to your address book.

Copyright ©2009 Big Purple Hippos, LLC