Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween Math Activities, Vol. 2: How Many Eyeballs?

One of my favorite parts of Halloween-- whether it was throwing parties for my daughter and her friends or transforming my classroom and lesson plans-- is how easy it is to repurpose everyday items into ghoulish goods.

If you don't already know the eyeball trick, or you DO know the eyeball trick and would like an idea for how to use it in your classroom, read on.

We used to host an annual Halloween party at my house when my daughter was growing up.  (These inevitably ended in pulling out the Ouija board and being interrupted by the "spirit" of a parent coming to pick up their son or daughter-- what fun!) One of the tricks that made me feel like super mom was peeling grapes to make Halloween "eyeballs."

Add a few crucial components and voila-- a perfect estimation Halloween tool!

In their pre-eyeball state
You'll need:
  • Lots of grapes
  • A bowl
  • Cardboard box with a hole


Step 1.  Peel the grapes so they're nice and slimy!  A tip to do this easily: boil the grapes for a few seconds, drain, and then submerge in cold water.  The skins will peel right off!  If you're feeling ambitious, you can even cut a raisin in half and use it as the iris.
Step 2.  Put all the "eyeballs" into a bowl and let students look at them so they can get a sense of the bowl.
Step 3.  Move bowl of "eyeballs" into the cardboard box.
Step 4.  Students get 15 seconds to feel around in the box of "eyeballs" to help their estimation.
Step 5.  Students record their answers for estimation on a classroom graph.  The student closest to the estimation without going over wins!  This can also be done as a team event!  Each group of four students will take turns estimating the eyeballs in the box.  The winner of each group would compete with the winners of all the other groups.

©moominmolly, Flickr Creative Commons

Enjoy!  I would suggest these grapes as a healthy snack for your class...but that might be going too far.

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