Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dr. Seuss Math Activities

Many schools celebrate the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Consider adding mathematical activities to these celebrations. One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish is an especially good introduction to combinations. Use the Mathwire open-ended problems written to accompany this book. The problems may be used with older grades who enjoy hearing their childhood book read aloud.

  • Seussical Patterns: Primary students will enjoy completing the Seussical Patterns which feature the classic red and white striped Seuss hat.
  • Seussical NumbersAfter reading the book, challenge students to recall how numbers were used in the book. Create a class list of these uses, then reread the book and add to the list, as needed, to capture all of the Seussical numbers.  


    Seussical Combinations:

    The book states that not one of them is like another. These original Mathwire problems challenge students to use combinations to figure out how many unique fish could be created.  


    • Seussical Fish:  Challenge younger students to find all of the different combinations for Seussical Fish  using attributes from the story.  Making an orderly list is an effective strategy for solving this problem.  Other students might opt to draw the solution.

    • Fishy Combinations:  Older students will enjoy the challenge of the Fishy Combinations challenge problem which involves many more options.  The model solution uses the multiplication principle of counting to easily solve the problem.  Students may also use a tree diagram or list all of the possible red fish, then extend this list to the blue and black fish combinations.