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# Discuss and Choose

## Discuss and Choose

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Age 5 to 11

Challenge Level

- Problem
- Getting Started
- Student Solutions
- Teachers' Resources

This activity challenges you to decide on the 'best' number to use in each of the following statements.

You may like to talk to someone else about what you're thinking. You may need to do some estimating, some calculating and some research.

Please send us your solutions and don't forget to explain how you arrived at your conclusions.

1) There are roughly $10/500/1000$ million domestic cats in the world.

2) On average, cats weigh $1.5/4.5/8$ kg.

3) Domestic cats sleep on average $8-9/13-14/18-19$ hours a day.

4) There are roughly $400/600/800$ million domestic dogs in the world.

5) The average life of a dog is $10-14/14-18/18-20$ years.

6) Dolphins live in groups called pods or schools of up to $12/20/30$ individuals.

7) Adult elephants need to drink about $100/200/400$ litres of water a day.

8) A giraffe's neck is about $120/170/220$ cm long.

9) A giraffe's tail hair is $2/5/10$ times as thick as the average human hair.

10) On average, male lions weigh $180/250/330$ kg.

11) A lion's roar can be heard $8/12/16$ kms away.

12) On average, lions rest for $10/15/20$ hours a day.

This activity gives an opportunity to discuss the quantities involved in the statements, and may involve estimation, calculation and/or research. Children will rely not only on what they have learnt from school, but also on information they have picked up from elsewhere. The discussion may well reveal some surprises, particularly in terms of their understanding of different units of measurement.

The activity could be suitable for small group or whole class discussions, depending on the experiences of the children involved. You might find it helpful to print off copies of the printable sheet from the top of the problem page, or you could print a grid of the full set of statements. These can be cut up into separate statements for pupils to focus on one at a time.

The role of the adult in this kind of situation is to enable discussion to take place effectively. It may be that after an initial discussion about each statement, you assign a pair or small group of children a few statements each and invite them to come up with evidence to support their suggested answer. If possible, encourage them to record as they go along so that they have a
reminder of what they did.

What do you think about what ___ just said?

Tell us your thoughts about ...

So, what do you all think?

Do some of you agree with ...? If so, why? Or why not?

How could we be more sure?

Children could create their own challenges in a similar way for others to discuss.

Try to help by listening, sharing and offering thoughts where appropriate.