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Math/Digestive system= help!
Old 02-23-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Hello everyone! I teach math in a departmentalized 4th grade. This marking period we are trying to do a cross-curricular project that incorporates math, science, and writing. We all agreed that we would have to follow what the students are doing in science- so the project is going to be on the digestive system. I can't for the life of me tie the two together in some way- even if it is far stretched. I have searched online and in every mailbox magazine I have. Anyone have any ideas? Any and all thougthts would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance


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one idea
Old 02-23-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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You could do something with caloric intake/daily percentage of vitamins, etc...that would entail basic facts, metric measurement, percents.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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Writing--tell the digestive journey from point of view of the food (ie: piece of pizza)..."As I entered this giant cave called the "mouth" I was scared to death of these giant white monsters chomping down. Before I knew it, I was being broken into bits!!!..."

Math...talk about measurement/time--and actually measure string (10 inches for the esophagus, etc.) and assemble the pieces of yarn into an outline of the their torso--coil up the many feet of yarn for the intestines, etc.

You could come up with a number of different problems related to eating, calories, etc. and work on problem solving strategies like work backward, draw a picture, make a list, etc.
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How about......
Old 02-23-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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finding out the length of the digestive system ( i had it somewhere but since retired) . We measure lengths of yarn starting with the mouth and going through the whole system. We taped it to the hallway floor and at each part place a label and a picture. The kids were amazed the length of it.
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math and science go hand-in-hand
Old 02-24-2010, 03:30 AM
 
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We are doing stations next week just on this. We introduce the physical parts of the digestive system and measure them with both standard and non-standard units. We also do research on the amount of time digestion takes once in the stomach. Then we do the fun part with an experiment on how long it takes to eat different items such as a goldfish cracker, a cracker with Peanut Butter on it, etc. Of course the kids will brainstorm and make predictions first and then we time them. The writing portion comes in very easily as well. They create an information brochure providing information about the digestive system. Then the students will do a R.A.F.T. writing to persuade. The Role is a part of the digestive system (usually the tongue and stomach are most popular) the Audience is the person the stomach or tongue is a part of, the Format is a friendly letter to persuade the human. Finally the Topic is to get the human to eat something specific or to stay away from something. I also am going to borrow some of the ideas provided by the previous posters. The nutrition label is a great idea, as you can do percentages, tables, etc. with all that too. Hope this helps


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Nutrition and Math
Old 02-25-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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This is old but students still like it. If you can find an old copy of The Arithmetic Teacher October 1992 The Idea section has an excellent worksheet called Space Nutrition. The students had to prepare three meals for an astronaut that would total 3000 calories. I've taught elementary math for 30 years and cannot recall students every asking to do addition for 20 minutes but they always enjoyed this activity. If someone has a more up to date version I'd love to have a copy.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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I'd definitely use the idea of exploring the length of the intestines. Actually seeing the total length stretched out in front of them amazes and astounds kids beyond belief.
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Yarn
Old 03-01-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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There is a way to use their bodies and yarn to help them measure out the length of their digestive systems. It is in an Evan-Moor book, copyrighted 2002. It is called 'The Human Body' for grades 4-6, and the activity is on page 20- Measuring the Monstrous Digestive System. There is also a recording sheet. Here is the link to the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Human-Body-Eli.../dp/1557998337
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Math Nutrition
Old 03-03-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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I stumbled on this today. It's called the My Pyramid Blast Off Game. It's by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The student inputs name, sex and age and then has to plan meals for a day.

http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/resour...tOff_Game.html

Hope this helps.
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