Investigative Integration

Activity 1 - Reasoning

 1919        1991        1993        9191        

  • Write the above numbers on the board and ask the students if they see a group of numbers that might not belong with the others and why?  
  • Tell the class you are looking for one specific answer.    
  • ANSWER:  “There is no correct answer.”   
  • After each student gives their answer, tell the student, “That is a very good answer, but that is not the answer I’m looking for.”  
  • After the students have exhausted all possible answers, tell them the specific answer you were looking for was, “There is no correct answer.”  
  • All of their answers were correct, depending upon which point of view you were looking at to solve the problem.  
  • Tell the students when a teacher tells them that there is only one correct answer to a problem, they should not be afraid to ask questions and challenge teachers because maybe that teacher didn’t see their point of view.


Activity 2 - Estimating

Math, Music, Fun

  • Divide the students into groups of four or five.  
  • Copy a picture of the California Raisin lady on the package of California Raisins.  
  • Enlarge it to life size and substitute your face for hers in the picture. 
  • Using the new picture, make a poster of yourself to hang over your neck.  
  • Make the poster look like the box of California Raisins.  
  • Play the song, “I Heard It Throughthe Grapevine” and walk around the room giving each group of students a paper plate and a small box of raisins.  
  • Ask each group to estimate how many raisins are in the box.   
  • Have the students dump out the raisins on the paper plate.  
  • Have them count the raisins and see which group had the closest guess.    
  • Have the students eat the raisins.


Activity 3 - Tangoes (Abstract Thinking Skills)

  • Make a set of tangoes for each child…use hard cardboard or paper.  
  • Make a set of designs for the overhead projector.     
  • Put one design on the screen and have the students try to make the same design using their seven pieces of tangoe.  
  • Have the students create their own design and write ashort story describing their design.


Activity 4 - “Straw Building” (Math, Art,Science)

(My Favorite)  

  • Divide the students into groups of four to six.  
  • Give each group a box of 100 straws and two rolls of masking tape.  
  • Their objective will be to build the tallest structure that will stand ALONE in the time you give them.  They may not tape the structure down to the floor or table.  
  • When you call time, have the class count out loud to 100 to see which structure will stand up alone and who will be the winner. (Usually, some of the structures will fall and the students will roar with laughter.)  
  • When the winner is declared, have the students analyze why that group won.  How was the structure different from the others?  What geometric shapes did it incorporate?  Was the base sturdy enough to hold the weight?  
  • Have another race to see which group takes the tape off the straws and cleans up their mess first.


Activity 5 - Goop (Science, Math, Art)

  • Mix two cups of baking soda with one cup of cornstarch.    
  • Add about one-half to one cup of water and stir.     
  • Add food coloring.  The Goop will look like a solid, bu tthen the molecules will act unstable. It will act like a liquid in your hands and ooze out between your fingers.  
  • Let the students measure out the amounts of ingredients to practice measuring.  They can spread the Goop out on the tables and use cookie cutters.  The mess will wipe up easily with a wet sponge. If any Goop gets on the floor, it will dry, turn to powder and can be easily swept away.


Activity 6 - Zouch (Math, Science, Language Arts, Art)

Diagram A - Cut on lines to the center.


  • You might need to prepare the booklet for younger students. 
  • Divide the students into groups of four.  
  • Each student will need a pencil, colors or markers, a ruler, a manila folder and a pair of scissors. Have the students measure and mark down three inches from the top of folder.    
  • Have the students draw a straight line across the folder using the mark they just made. 
  • Measure down another three inches and draw another line.  Again, measure down three inches and draw a line.      
  • Open up the folder.  
  • Have the students cut on the straight lines all the way to the center of the folder.  Only have them cut the front page of the folder.  The folder will now have four equal flaps on the front cover.  
  • See diagram A

Diagram B


  • Have the students put their names on the front of the cover.  
  • Have the students open only the first flap and have them draw the head of an alien, a person, an animal, a plant, or a dinosaur,etc. 
  • Have them draw the head to the neck of the creature.       
  • Have them open the second flap and make two little marks of where they ended their drawing so the next person will know where to begin drawing. 
  • Have the students close the flap and place a small piece of tape on the first flap so that no one can open the flap to see what the first person drew.         
  • Have the students pass the folders to the person on their left.
  • See diagram B.

Diagram C


  • The students will open the second flap and draw the creature from the neck to the bellybutton. 
  • Have the students open the third flap and make two little marks where they ended their drawing.  Have them close the flaps and seal with tape.         
  • Have the students pass the folders to the left again. 
  • See diagram C.

Diagram D


  •  These students will draw the creature from the belly button to the knees. 
  • Have the students open the last flap and make two little marks where the students ended their drawing. Have them close the flap and seal with tape.       
  • Have the students pass the folders to the left.
  • See diagram D.

Diagram E


  • Have the students draw the creature from the knees to the toes. 
  • Have the students close the flaps and pass the folders to the left back to the original owner.  
  • Make sure all the students have their folder before anyone opens their folder to make sure all the students open their folders at the same time. 
  • Have the students open the folders and get ready for the laughter.
  • See diagram E.

Diagram F


  • Have the students tape up the inside of the front cover of the folder; tape the seams together to make the folder whole again.  
  • Have the students write a one-page or more paper about their creature (make up a story). 
  • Tape the paper/story onto the manila folder on the opposite side of the drawing. 
  • Have the students read their paper/story to the class.
  • See Diagram F.

Activity 7 - Listening and Following Directions

Additional Information

  • Divide your students into groups of two.  
  • Have your students sit back-to-back with one student facing front and one facing the back of the room.  
  • Draw something on the overhead or board and the student sitting facing you will try to explain what you just drew to the student facing the back of the room.  
  • Tell your students that they have to talk very quietly or whisper so the person sitting beside them might hear them. 
  • When you begin drawing, draw one little section at a time. Let the students describe what you just drew and then add to the drawing.  
  • The student facing the back will attempt to draw what is being explained to him/her.       
  • The student facing the back is not allowed to talk at all. 
  •  The person facing the front is not allowed to look at what the other student is drawing.       
  • The students will learn to be good listeners and good direction givers.  
  • When all the students have finished, have the students match their drawings to yours.    
  • See who draws the closest figure to your drawing.    
  • Then have the students switch places and do another drawing.