Math Mondays::Silly Equivalencies.

On our trip to Yellowstone, we had a fantastic and fascinating discussions about bears.

Mostly because on the 7 mile dirt road up to our cabin, we came across a Grizzly bear ambling down the road. Grizzly. Bear. Windshield to Snout distance away. It beat a hasty retreat into the woods while Hubby yelled at me to roll the window back up. In an effort to get a picture, I’d instinctively rolled the window down to lean out and snap a shot. You can see where the brains of the family are. Someday, if you see video of a woman dying a ridiculous death at the hands of a totally avoidable wild animal, don’t be surprised if it’s me.

Anywho…that’s when the bear subject came up. Part of it centered on how much bears will eat in a day. Golfer had the chance to learn that when he helped hide food from some bears at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.

Here he is, hiding fruit and vegetables in the bear enclosure.

And here is one of the two bears, finding the food:

Golfer learned that in the late Summer months, a grizzly bear will eat up to 80-90 pounds per day to help stuff him up for a nice long hibernation.

This is where the math kicked in, as it always does when we venture into hypothetical situations of obscure facts (our favorite discussions to have, actually).

The kids started throwing out things like:

If a bear ate all watermelons, how many watermelons would that be? (they spontaneously discussed average weight, settling on about 2 pounds for an average watermelon)

How many quarter pounders would that be? (I loved listening to them figure this one out, dealing fluidly with fractions in their heads when they would balk if I sat down and wrote this out as a word problem)

How many chocolate shakes?

How many Sassy’s? (lol)

And then they started putting together combinations of things, like, watermelons + Sassy’s? (Sassy is 50 pounds, so how many more watermelons would he need to get to 80 pounds?)

This kind of silly equivalency game really never gets old. Even now that we’re home I know that the next time they hear a weight comparison of an object, in their heads they’ll be substituting it into a ‘bear food’ equivalency.

The sillier the equivalency, the better!

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7 Responses

  1. 🙂
    sounds like great fun to me!

  2. Cool 🙂 Love the bear photo too!

  3. Love it so much it makes me happy with glee. whenever i am tempted to start some math “teaching” i think about how I would miss this kind of stuff where they just naturally ask lots of interesting math questions and that stops me.

  4. Love it!

  5. Yay! Welcome back!

  6. this is great! i’ve been wondering how to encroach on dad’s football-season-as-math curriculum, & this is it. random exciting questions that sound just like the ones they already ask, except that i actually play along with them. cause there’s for sure balking when i write out problems. i found you linked to our homeschooling-blogger picture, & i’m so glad! i’ll be back.

  7. Wow, awesome fun!
    Grizzly and math, what a combo. Lovely bear photo too.
    -Subadra

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