the lesson by having students take a "walk" around the classroom. As
they are walking, have them notice the kinds of steps their classmates
take. Remind students that this is not a race.
Call the students together to discuss what they observed. They may describe the steps as:
- big steps
- little steps
- normal steps
Next, distribute the How Many Steps? Activity Sheet to each student.
How Many Steps? Activity Sheet
Have each student model and clearly understand the meaning of
each type of step listed on the activity sheet. For some of the steps,
you may wish to demonstrate; for others, have a student demonstrate.
For example, you may wish to have one student demonstrate a "regular" step:
And another student could demonstrate a baby step:
And yet another student could demonstrate a giant step:
Tell students that they will be using one of their baby steps to
measure the length of their other steps. That is, they will answer the
question, "How many baby steps are equal to 1 _____ step?" To make the
comparison easy, have each student cut several copies of their
baby-step unit from newspaper. (This can be done most easily by having
one student stand with their heels at the edge of the newspaper. Then,
as he or she takes a baby step forward, a partner can mark just in
front of the toe of their front foot with a crayon or pencil.)
Guide the pupils to measure and record the number of baby steps
that equals each of the other steps. A student can take each of the
indicated steps, and a partner can help to measure the length using the
cut-outs of the baby steps.
Be sure that students measure the distances from the heel of
the starting foot to the toe of the ending foot, just as was done with
the baby step.
Students should fill in a box on the graph for each baby step.
For instance, if one giant step is equal to five baby steps, the
student should fill in five boxes. When completed, this graph will form
a horizontal bar graph.
Ask students to look at their own graphs, and answer the Questions for Students. Then, students should find a partner and compare graphs. What do
their graphs have in common? What is different about their graphs?
These, as well as the Questions for Students, can all be discussion points for the comparison of two students' graphs.
Helene Silverman. "IDEAS: Games, Measurement, and Statistics." The Arithmetic Teacher. April, 1990, pp. 27 - 32.