How Many Peas Fill the Classroom?

Part of the series Great Secondary Lesson Ideas

  Screen capture from How Many Peas Fill the Classroom?


This fun and active maths lesson for Key Stage 3 students involves measuring, estimating and calculating, and contains a great lesson idea for use in lesson planning.

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Maths teacher Katie Slusar asks her Year 7 class at Comberton Village College to work out how many chickpeas might fit into their classroom.

During this exercise in mathematical modelling, the pupils plan how to approach the task and choose the equipment they need.

They start measuring and calculating, and make appropriate estimates and assumptions as they go, involving large and small numbers and different units of measurement.

Although the answers her pupils get are unlikely to be accurate, this is a fun and effective lesson idea that tackles some tricky mathematical concepts.


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    • Peas in a room
      3 November 2010 - 15:15

      So glad it was stated at the end that the final answer didn't matter - although you then have to ask why? Surely it would have been much better to have filled a cuboidal container with the peas, count them and then calculate how many of these containers would fit into the classroom? No consideration has been given to the fact that the peas wouldn't sit uniformly on top of each other so not realistic at all. Please, please, please - it's not centimetres cubed but cubic centimetres