Pyramid and Fractions

Many of us enjoyed playing with legos and blocks when we were younger. We used these to build what ever our little imaginations at the time seemed to be fascinated with. These building blocks, no pun intended, are the same philosophy applied to very basics of architecture throughout the world.  Many students also enjoy any type of activity that gets them involved as well as allows them to be able to do something with their hands, which makes this next activity ideal for many students. By having the students use their hands to apply basic mathematical methods and apply these techniques into real life situations, their interest is captured in a great way.

This activity involves a great deal of imagination while at the same time it allows them to use their ability to use fractions in order to complete this creative assignment. This activity will be sure to intrigue the students and convince some of them that maybe math isn’t all that bad afterall.

Materials:

270 miniature sugar cubes, (this is 18 sugar cubes per group of 2 at 15 groups if your class consists of 30 students)

Construction paper- 15 pieces

Instructions:

Teachers divide the class into groups of 2. Each group is then given 18 sugar cubes to construct their pyramid. Every time the students complete a row for the foundation of the pyramid they have to write a fraction down on paper, stating how many sugar cubes they used to construct the bottom layer. Let’s say they used 7 to construct the bottom layer. Since there are 18 total cubes for the assignment, the denominator will always be 18. Therefore, the faction for the first problem is 7/18.

The students would then continue this exercise and the construction of their pyramid until all of the sugar cubes have been used. Once they have completed the assignment, they can then add up all of the fractions they have written down. This would then equal the total amount of sugar cubes used to make the entire pyramid.  The students will not only have used fractions as a way to produce the pyramid, but they will also have something interesting to show for their work. This activity can also be adjusted to different grade levels by the complexity integrated.

Tips:

Once the students have made their own pyramid, they can also come together with another group and make a bigger pyramid which will test their fractions skills even more.

To make this activity even more interesting teachers can have the students create different shapes or objects with the sugar cubes and state how many sugar cubes were used in their design.

…..And for additional review, here is another pyramid fractions game using Chocolate!

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/chocolate.html