Math in Our World: Collecting Raindrops

Jayden’s father set up a rain barrel to collect rainwater. He used the collected rain to water the garden on August 2.

Each week Jayden estimates how much water is in the barrel. He recorded his estimates in the table.

A downspout from the house empties into a rain barrel. The barrel has labels for every 100 liters, up to 400 liters. The water level is at about 250 liters.
DateRain (liters)
July 5125
July 12250
July 19275
July 26325
August 2250
  1. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  2. Use words, pictures, models, or numbers to describe this situation.
  3. What mathematical questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions you can!
  • Look at Jayden’s estimates. Make a drawing to help you compare the amounts.
  • What do you think happened when the water in the barrel increased? Decreased?
  • Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

With an adult, choose a container to leave outside where it can collect rainfall. Record how long it takes to collect 2 liters of water. Between rains, what happens to the water level in your container? Why do you think it changes?