Bounce that Ball: Learn Math While Doing Sports Activity

2.8 based on 4 ratings
Updated on Feb 8, 2013

In first grade, kids learn how to represent and compare data using simple graphs. But with warm weather finally here, who wants to sit inside to practice? Head out to the driveway, ball in hand, for a bouncing challenge. Then use those results to make a colorful graph that lets your child compare her results to those of the challenger (you!)

Even if she wipes the floor with you, don't despair. A rematch gives the loser another shot…plus your kid another crack at graphing practice!

What You Need:

  • Ball that can be easily bounced
  • Timer or watch with a minute hand
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Markers or crayons

What You Do:

  1. Have your child bounce a ball in place as many times as she can for one minute. Time her with a watch or timer. Record the number of bounces.
  2. Now, it's your turn to bounce the ball. Have your child time you and record the number of bounces.
  3. Make a pictograph to show your results. Draw a chart with two rows and two columns. In the first column in the top row, have your child write his name. Write your name underneath his in the first column in the bottom row. Using a marker or crayon, have your child draw a ball for each of his bounces in the top row of the second column, opposite his name. In the column opposite your name, show your number of bounces in the same way.
  4. Discuss the data on the graph. Ask your child what each ball represents. Ask her who had the most bounces. Ask her how she knows this. She may say it's by looking at the graph or by counting. Explain to her that many times you can look at a graph and know which person has the most and which person has the fewest, without even counting!

Disappointed with the results? Demand a rematch! And get in some extra graphing in the bargain...

Sally is an experienced educator, with over 14 years of teaching experience. In addition to teaching, she has also created educational materials, including ancillary, textbook, and test items, for Grades K-8 for major educational publishers.

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