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Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
Author: Marilyn Burns
Illustrator: Debbie Tilley
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Copyright: 1997
ISBN: 0-590-94459-2
Number of Pages: 36
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3–6

When Mr. and Mrs. Comfort plan a family reunion dinner, they rent tables and chairs to accommodate all of the guests. The first guests who arrive begin pushing the small tables together so everyone can sit together. However, as more guests arrive, they find that they must split the large table back into smaller table arrangements in order to seat everyone. The author provides an explanation of the mathematics involved and offers extension activities for students to explore.

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How to Use This Book
Highlights and Insights
Related ORC Resources
Ohio Standards

 


How to Use This Book

  • Groups of students could each be provided with a packet of squares (sticky notes, cardboard squares, or small tiles would work well) to explore how many people can be seated at various table arrangements.
  • After the specific questions in the story are answered, students can explore the more general questions suggested in the back of the book. For example, are there patterns in the way that perimeter changes when area increases?
  • Depending on the level of the class, the teacher might pose additional problems, such as, what is the minimum number of tables needed to seat a given number of people? How does the number of tables change if you want to seat everyone at one large table? What would be the optimal arrangement for good conversation groups?

Highlights and Insights

  • The story presents concepts of area and perimeter in a real-world context that allows students to recognize that shapes with the same areas can have different perimeters.
  • Conversely, students can explore whether shapes with the same perimeter can have different areas.

Related ORC Resources

Area
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ORC# 5058
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grade 3
Professional Commentary: Students can explore how the area of a figure can change for a given perimeter. They analyze how the relationship between area and perimeter develops as the perimeter increases....
Pipe Cleaners
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ORC# 5813
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades 3–4
Professional Commentary: Students build rectangles with pipe cleaners. Since the pipe cleaners are all the same length, the rectangles will all have the same perimeter....
Understanding Factoring through Geometry
View Full RecordAdd to My ORC Collection
ORC# 1480
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades 3–4
Professional Commentary: Using square unit tiles, students work with a partner to construct all rectangles whose area is equal to a given number. After several examples, students see that prime numbers are associated with exactly two rectangles, whereas composite numbers are associated with more than two rectangles....

Ohio Standards

Measurement Standard
    Benchmarks (3-4)
    D. Identify appropriate tools and apply counting techniques for measuring side lengths, perimeter and area of squares, rectangles, and simple irregular two-dimensional shapes, volume of rectangular prisms, and time and temperature.
    Benchmarks (5-7)
    G. Understand and demonstrate the independence of perimeter and area for two-dimensional shapes and of surface area and volume for three-dimensional shapes.
    Grade Level Indicators (4)
    4. Develop and use strategies to find perimeter using string or links, area using tiles or a grid, and volume using cubes; e.g., count squares to find area of regular or irregular shapes on a grid, layer cubes in a box to find its volume.
    Grade Level Indicators (6)
    5. Understand the difference between perimeter and area, and demonstrate that two shapes may have the same perimeter, but different areas or may have the same area, but different perimeters.
Geometry and Spatial Sense Standard
    Grade Level Indicators (4)
    8. Use geometric models to solve problems in other areas of mathematics, such as number (multiplication/division) and measurement (area, perimeter, border).