Math in Our World: Building Snow People

Two snow people. Both are made from 3 snowballs, have 2 sticks for arms, and 2 rocks for eyes. One has 5 rocks for a mouth and 3 buttons on the middle snowball for clothes. The other has 3 rocks for a mouth, 3 buttons on the middle snowball, and 2 buttons on the bottom snowball for clothes.

Julie was building snow people with her sister. They collected all of the sticks and rocks that they could find to build snow people. In total they collected 24 sticks and 60 rocks. They can use the sticks for arms and the rocks for eyes, mouths and buttons. They didn’t have any carrots for the noses, so they decided that each snowperson will have 2 eyes, a mouth and arms. They decided that buttons were optional.

  1. Use pictures, models, or numbers to show what is happening.
  2. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  3. What math questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions you can!
  • How could Julie and her sister use the rocks differently on the snow people? How are they used differently in the picture?
  • What if each snowperson was the same? What if they were each different?

Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

If you had a chance to play in the snow, what would you build? What other materials would you need? Think of something you might be able to gather 30 of. Maybe it’s leaves or rocks or sticks. What could you build with those 30 items? Could you make more than one thing that each used the same number of items?