Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School Extension Activities
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
Congratulations! Your classroom has been selected as the site for this year's metric olympics. Here's a chance for students to practice their metric skills.
Divide the class into teams. Select a judge from each team to officiate at one of the events. Have each team choose a name, a slogan, and a team color. As a class, decide how events will be scored, if at all, and whether medals will be given. Emphasize that all students will participate. Have a volunteer run around the room once holding a torch (a flashlight?!) and let the games begin!
Here are some metric events to use. Feel free to revise or add to the list or invite students to make up other events. Let students try each event as practice.
Competitors flick a penny across the floor or table top. The winner is the one whose coin comes to rest closest to 1 meter from the starting line. Judges may need to use millimeters to determine the winners.
Paper Clip Place
From a starting line, competitors try to estimate a distance of 5 meters. They place a paper clip at that spot. The player closest to 5 meters wins.
Players must try to fill a large empty jar until it holds 1 liter of water. The player who gets closest to 1 liter wins. Provide a gallon jug or large bowl and a graduated liter container.
Competitors in groups of four put their index finger into a bowl of water. Everyone guesses the water temperature in degrees Celsius and records the guess on a slip of paper. The judge uses a thermometer to find the water temperature. The person whose guess is closest to the actual temperature wins.
Cotton Ball Golf
Using a ruler as a club, a player calls fore! and swings at the cotton ball. The winner is the player who has driven the cotton ball the greatest number of centimeters down the classroom fairway. A miss counts as a swing.