> I'm an Assistant Professor of Mathematics who has been asked to > prepare 45 minutes to an hour of "meaningful enrichment activity" for > gifted and talent fifth graders for this friday. > > I'm thinking of doing something basic on the concept of infinity and > the different "sizes" of infinity.
You could probably have a lot of fun with Zeno's paradoxes with this age group. Create a line of kids as if you were going to have a race across the room. Tell the kids they will never be able to finish the race because of "infinity." Have some other kids measure the distance between the starting point and the finish line. Tell the kids that when they start they can only travel half the distance to the finish line and then the other kids have to measure again. Repeat the process until they get close to the finish line but never cross it because they can only travel half the distance till infinity.
What's important with this age group is that you give them something "to do" with the mathematical concept (act it out, measure, race, etc). With this idea the physical activity will keep them engaged, their bodies become the "manipulatives," and obeying the rule of half will give them understandable structure. I hope you have fun with them-- 5th grade is a magical time!
Ken Blystone, Educational Technologist Ysleta Independent School District 9600 Sims El Paso, Texas 79925 Voice: 915-595-5676 Fax: 915-595-5930 Data1: 915-590-5476 (The CyberSchool System) Data2: 915-598-1987 (The K12 Network/Internet Link 1:381/64) Data3: 915-595-6806 (Ysleta Educational Telecommunications)