Lesson 2: Create Your Own Math Hunt
Grade Level: 5-8
Students work individually to create their own Math Hunts, then
solve another student’s Math Hunt.
Build Background Knowledge
- Discuss with students how math problems are presented to people in the real world. For example, when someone wants to know how much money they need to earn to buy a new game, they are not given an equation. They presented with information, and they need to figure out how to use that information to find an answer.
- you have $5
- the game costs $76.45
- you earn $8 an hour
- you’ll need to work 9 hours to earn $72 so you can have $77, enough for the new game
- Have students share examples of how they decipher information and use math in their everyday lives: calculating the grocery bill in the supermarket, working with fractions when dividing food among classmates at a party, etc.
Teaching with the Activity
Analyze How Math Hunts Work:
- Lead students through one Math Hunt to familiarize them with
how the activity works.
- Discuss how the creators of Math Hunt might have come up with
- Use the following example to discuss the mechanics behind
constructing a test question and multiple-choice answer.
From “Creepy Crawlies”:
Arthropods (a fancy name for insects) are the most numerous creatures on Earth. Anywhere you look, you can probably find a bug lurking — including on your own skin! Bugs, like people, come in all sizes — from the 14-inch-long tropical stick insect to one of the smallest insects in the world, the feather-winged beetle.
If laid end to end, how many feather-winged beetles would it take to measure a meter?
- Explain that students must essentially work backwards when creating a test question.
- First they decide on the math skill or skills to target (in this case, converting units of measurement, practicing multiplication/division).
- Next, they decide on the reference they want to use.
- Then they write a question. Depending on the reference site, they may need to provide some information within the question. The rest of the information the “hunter” will need to uncover from the reference.
- Finally, they list the correct answer as well as two incorrect answers.
Design Your Own Math Hunt:
- Explain to students that they will create their own Math Hunt, deciding on a topic, finding a good Web site that can be used for reference, and creating a math word problem that other students will need to solve.
- Practice together as a class. Sketch out test questions using one or more math skills and real-life situations. Then try several test questions using information from one Math Hunt such as “Creepy Crawlies” (or any other topic).
- Create a classroom Math Hunt resource center with books on Math Hunt topics and sample word problems (see Recommended Books and Additional Resources for reference ideas). Have appropriate math tools on hand as well (calculator, graph paper, ruler, manipulatives, etc.)
- Bookmark Web sites that students can use as reference destinations
for their Math Hunt. Scholastic.com’s Online Activities
3-5 or grades
6-8 offer areas on a variety of topics.
- Provide time for students to create their own Math Huntfive questions each with three multiple-choice answers, plus a separate answer key. Students should include two printouts of their reference sites. On one copy, have them highlight the necessary information. The other printout should be clean so that “hunters” can use it as they play.
- Students should also provide an explanation of the steps players need to go through to solve each problem.
- Emphasize that the questions and answers must be challenging, but the Math Hunt should also be creative and entertaining with interesting information about the chosen topic.
Compete Against Each Other:
- Divide students into pairs. One student completes the other student’s Math Hunt. The Math Hunt writer verifies if each answer is correct or incorrect (with the second printout plus answer key), giving the player a second chance if it’s incorrect. Players earn 10 points for answers they get right on the first try, 5 points for correct answers on the second try.
- As a class, discuss each of the student’s Math Huntsencouraging the student who completed the Math Hunt to comment on its creativity and level of difficulty.
- Have students revise their Math Hunts based on feedback from whomever tried the challenge and comments from the class.
- Have students use the daily newspaper instead of Web sites
to create their own Math Hunt. Assign small groups of students
a section of the newspaper and have them create a math question
that can be answered using information from that section of
- Collect all the students’ Math Hunts into a book or an interactive presentation (using PowerPoint or HTML authoring tools). Share the collection with other classes.
4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks
Thinking and Reasoning
Selects the most appropriate strategy or alternative for solving a problem
Uses electronic media to gather information
Uses multiple representations of information to find information
for research topics
Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety
of informational texts
Uses prior knowledge and experience to understand and respond
to new information
Uses a variety of strategies to understand problem situations
Knows the difference between pertinent and irrelevant information
when solving problems
Uses explanations of the methods and reasoning behind the problem
solution to determine reasonableness of and to verify results
with respect to the original problem
Formulates a problem, determines information required to solve
the problem, chooses methods for obtaining this information, and
sets limits for acceptable solutions
Understands the concepts of ratio, proportion, and percent and
the relationships among them
Multiplies and divides whole numbers
Adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides decimals
Adds and subtracts simple fractions
Solves real-world problems involving number operations
Adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides integers, and rational
Understands the correct order of operations for performing arithmetic
Uses proportional reasoning to solve mathematical and real-world
Understands the basic measures perimeter, area, volume, capacity,
mass, angle, and circumference
Knows basic geometric language for describing and naming shapes