to using this lesson, students should have had some experience pouring
liquids from one container into another. They should also have
developed some understanding of measurement using non‑standard units.
Tell students they will be planning a class event in which
food and beverages will be shared. Students will need to determine how
much beverage will be needed. Pose the following questions to students:
What should be the amount of ready-to-serve beverage that makes up one serving?
How can the beverage be shared so that each student receives the same amount?
Assign students to groups of 2-3 each, and tell students their group
will be referred to as a "committee." Assign each committee a number
(i.e. Committee #1, Committee #2, Committee #3, and so on.)
Students should estimate and record the following information in the "Estimation" column of the Beverage Sharing and Serving Activity Sheet:
- How many servings can be poured from one container of beverage?
- How many students will need to be served?
- How many containers of the beverage will be needed to serve those students?
Note these three bullets correspond to the first three rows of the table.
Beverage Sharing and Serving Activity Sheet
Using water to represent the beverage, have the students pour
from the container and record this new set of answers for the questions
under the column "Water Practice" in the table.
By using water, practice pouring or ladling to measure the required amount of beverage, a serving, into a drinking cup.
Students can answer questions such as the following:
- Will all the beverage from all opened containers be needed
to serve the class? If not, how many servings will remain in the
container? Estimate answers.
- What should be done with the leftover amount?
- Record your answers and give them to your teacher.
Finally allow students to enjoy the beverages. Ask the class to discuss and decide:
- the day and time this beverage break will occur;
- from where in the room the beverage will be served;
- who will be responsible for opening the beverage containers,
pouring beverage from original containers into pitchers or punch bowl,
arranging proper number of drinking cups, ladling or pouring beverage
into cups, cleaning up after the activity, disposing of leftover
beverage, and other related duties.
Students should keep track of the actual beverage servings, and they should record this information in the "Actual Servings" column of the activity sheet.
To conclude the lesson, have each committee discuss and compare
differences between and among numbers in the three columns of their
charts. Ask students how close their estimates were to the actual
serving. Was any committee very close in its estimates? If so, that
committee can share their results.
Brumfield, Emalou and John Firkins. "Ideas." Arithmetic Teacher 41 (February 1994): 309-316.