With Easter just around the corner, it can be tough to keep your eggheads focused in class. The Easter Bunny’s pending arrival and the promise of baskets of chocolate and candy treats are enough to have any child hopping in their seat. So, why fight it? Let’s embrace the Easter Egg-citement!
There are tons of Easter math activities out there claiming to bring the Easter fun, but when you look a little closer, many of them turn out to regular worksheets plastered with bunnies, eggs, and other Easter paraphernalia. Your students deserve better than a sugar-coated practice drill worksheets.
We believe math learning should be social and collaborative. This is why we’ve designed teacher-tested group activities that are playful, and creative with sweet, chewy math centres. Let’s peel the foil off this Easter activities package to see how these activities can bring the Easter magic to all of your little eggheads.
Cut out the Easter eggs and lay them face up on a table. Students take turns choosing three eggs that share a common attribute. It’s up to the rest of the group to guess what the common attribute is!
You can use the same set of eggs to play another game as well. Lay the eggs face down. One at a time, turn them face up. As soon as a student sees three eggs with a common attribute, they call out the similarity and collect all three. Whoever collects the most eggs wins!
Upon completion of this activity, follow up with the Egg Decorating activity (see below) and ask students what attributes their own egg creations have in common.
In this activity, students will use dice rolls to determine how to decorate their eggs. With one die representing a colour, and another representing a pattern, students will look to the dice to create one of 36 possible outcomes on their eggs. In doing so, they will learn about numeric representation and basic algorithms.
Once everyone has their eggs created, you can play “Egg Dominos” where students arrange their eggs in a line in such a way that each subsequent egg has something in common with the egg before it. For example, an egg with red stars and blue zig-zags can come after an egg with red stars and be followed by an egg with blue zig-zags. Ask students, “Who has an egg with something in common with this one?”
Students roll two dice and place counters to claim numbers on a hundreds chart. Students may add, subtract, or multiply the numbers on their dice to determine which number they claim. For example, if a student rolls a 5 and a 2, they may add them to claim 7, subtract them to claim 3, or multiply them to claim 10. The student with the most numbers claimed after five rounds wins! You can increase the difficulty by using more dice or dice with more than six sides.
During the activity, ask students questions like, “If you can make 7, 3, or 10, how do you decide which one to take?” This will encourage students to think about their decision-making strategy and even about probability.
Hide jelly beans around your classroom and in small teams, have your students retrieve as many as they can in five minutes. When time is up, teams will graph how many of each colour jelly bean they found and answer questions about their graph. Hang all of their charts up next to each other and pose questions like, “Which team found the most red jelly beans?” Data analysis has never been so tasty!
Ask students if they can think of other ways to represent their sugary bounty.
Your whole class has turned into bunny rabbits and are ready to hop! Create a pattern out of hops, and have your whole class repeat the pattern. For example, you might hop twice on the spot, and then hop forward once as a pattern. Another pattern could be turn left, hop forward, and then hop backwards on one foot. Whatever the pattern is, asking them “What comes next?” is a great way to hone their pattern-recognition and bunny-impersonation skills. Students will also jump at the chance to make their own hopping pattern for everyone else to try out!
Upon completion of the activity, ask students to create patterns with pattern blocks or other manipulatives. Pair students up and challenge each other to complete their patterns.
This package of Easter math games is a great way to bring collaborative math learning into your Easter celebrations. The activities are designed to spur collaborative social learning and can engage every student, regardless of learning level.
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Written By: Matt Murphy
Matt Murphy is the Educational Designer for Zorbit’s Math Adventure, a K-3 game-based learning platform for the classroom. Matt has a Masters degree in Curriculum Design from the University of New Brunswick and has over five years of experience working in educational technology as an Instructional Designer, and Gamification/Game-Based Learning Consultant.