Pumpkin Numbers

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Grade Vs Difficulty:

LESSON PLAN – PUMPKIN NUMBERS (Students Invent Their Own)
This lesson is intended to be done after exploring other number types that have names – for instance, triangular numbers, cubic numbers, Narcissistic Numbers (here’s a video on what those are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aMtJ-V26Z4), integers, even numbers, prime numbers, etc. Definitely do Narcissistic Numbers first since they convey creativity with numbers. Pre-multiplication or exponents kids can do this with blocks. Kids may question the freedom to just make something up in mathematics.

This is a good activity to do in October, with Halloween looming. I did it as the final activity in a 6-session course with 8-10 year olds. We had also explored the numerical properties of the Eye of Horus (harmonic sequence) in this circle.

Give each child a small orange paper pumpkin, a pencil, and a few minutes. Ask them to invent Pumpkin Numbers, and to represent them on the paper pumpkins. Then ask them to present theirs to the group (to develop mathematical communication skills). Take pictures of the kids with their pumpkins.

Afterwards, discuss any trends that the kids noticed in the numbers. In my group, the Pumpkin Numbers fell into very distinct categories:
• those defined by digits physically resembling the shape of a pumpkin
• those defined by functionality
• those with only one numerical value
• those with multiple possibilities for value
• those representing a system
• those representing a number or a rule

Click here for a detailed report of how this activity transpired in my circle: http://talkingsticklearningcenter.org/pumpkin-numbers-and-math-circle-na...

Pumpkin cut-outs that you can print on orange paper
A worksheet with a visual on Narcissistic Numbers

Rodi Steinig, Talking Stick Math Circle