Math in Our World: Nature Collection

While on a nature walk by the beach, we collected leaves, rocks, berries, and flowers that had fallen on the ground. Then we arranged them in a circular pattern.

We started with a stone in the middle and put 4 pebbles around it. Between the pebbles, we put 4 purple flowers with stems. Between the stemmed flowers, we put 4 red flowers. Next, we put 8 pebbles around the outer edge of our circle. Between the pebbles, we alternated 8 big leaves and 8 bunches of red berries. Then, around this circle, we put a ring of small leaves and black rocks, like this: rock leaf, rock, leaf.
  1. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  2. Use pictures, numbers, or math words to show or tell what you know about the image.
  3. What math questions can you ask about the picture? Answer all the questions you can!
  • Count the number of items in each ring of the circle. What do you notice?
  • Which item appears the most? Which appears the least?
  • Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

Can you build your own circular pattern with items you find outside? Remember not to pick anything that’s still living and instead look for leaves, sticks, pinecones, shells, flowers, or rocks on the ground.