Developing Enthusastic Problem Solvers
March 1, 2012 by elisabeth

Elephants: Photo of the Month

Many people have collections. Some people like to collect coins from different countries. Other people like to collect Hummel figurines. The possibilities are endless. What do I like to collect? Elephants. I have loved elephants since I was a young child. As I looked at my collection of elephants in my office, I thought about the various mathematical questions that you could ask about this group of animals. So, I decided to gather my elephants for a snapshot. Below is a picture of my collection of elephants (or at least all of them that I could fit in this shot):

Here are some of the mathematical questions that came to my mind when I looked at my collection of elephants:

How many elephants do I have in my collection?

Sort the elephants into groups. How did you sort the elephants? (ex. color, size, type…) What is the name of this group? Which group has the most? Which group has the least? Sort the elephants a different way.

How many gray elephants do I have?

How many stuffed animals do I have?

Which elephant is the tallest?

Which elephant is the shortest?

Which elephant is the smallest?

Which elephant is the biggest?


What mathematics do you see in this picture?


What does your child like to collect? What do your students like to collect?  Modify these questions to fit their collections.