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Engaging Maths: 25 Favourite Lessons

Engaging Maths

This full-colour volume aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of primary school students (and their teachers) through enjoyable, challenging and active lessons.

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Upper primary activities

The activities for upper primary students move into a more global perspective.

Each activity is prompted by questions or statements.

The Your place in the world activities involve collecting data from school about family origins and languages other than English which are spoken at home, and exploring the type and cost of food for families from different countries. The data about the languages and origins is collected through the use of simple survey techniques, and the data about food choices supplied. Students use information from the Australian census to make comparisons. They use a variety of methods to display the data collected (graphs, lists, tables, maps) and interpret the data to answer questions posed.

The About our world activities emphasise the interpretation of secondary data. Students use data from the Bureau of Meteorology to find out about weather extremes in Australia and to make comparisons to their local area. They also examine a background study on the effect of climate change on the production of maize in Malawi.

There are supporting worksheets, links to helpful online resources plus ideas for extension. You can also download the online teaching notes.

Your place in the world: Family languages and origins

Students collect class data about languages (other than English) spoken at home and the origins of their families. They compare the class results to the 2011 Australian census data.

Your place in the world: What do they eat in…?

Students look at photographs of families from different countries with their week’s food. They categorise the foods and estimate their proportions using percentages. The activity is extended with the use of data in a spreadsheet.

About our world: Climate extremes

Students investigate maximum and minimum temperatures, and maximum daily rainfall within Australia, using statistics from the Bureau of Meteorology. They observe the effect of latitude.

About our world: Food security

This is a background study about a country with a subsistence economy, based on one single staple food crop. Students investigate the effect of the changing African climate on the maize harvest in Malawi by interpreting mathematical data in the form of text, tables and graphs.