Tree blaze empties the courts

This article can be used to create awareness about estimation. It leads into the measurement part of the curriculum for a grade seven class.

The first question is asking the students to gather the numeracy information contained in the article and evaluate it. For example, the only object in the trees' surrounding that has a quantitative measurement is the Supreme Court building, therefore anything else we would have to estimate the distance from the picture to evaluate the risk. The second question covers this aspect. The students will need to have a discussion on how they would 'guess'/ 'measure' the distance from the picture.

Discussion could also take place on whether the picture gives us a 'true feeling' for the distance involved and whether we need to actually be at the location to make an accurate estimate.

Question three uses the students' numeracy skills to evaluate the information given in the article to attain an answer. The answer can then be discussed in terms of why we might be looking at the maximum measurement that could fall on the building. To let students discover that the length of the tree that could fall on the building can vary depending on the way the tree falls.

Question four looks at an introduction to the quantity of an object. This could lead into the area component of measurement at a later stage.

To follow on from this lesson, in the RIME pack for grade 7 in the measurement unit is a lesson on estimating called 'Estimating Distances'.

(Written by Rachel Moore, BTeach student, University of Tasmania, 2001)

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