Books, Homeschool, Science/Math

Eat Your Math Homework: Fibonacci Fun

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89… to infinity and beyond!

It’s not a phone number. It’s not a secret code. It’s not the winning lottery ticket. Nope. It’s the Fibonacci sequence.

We explored the Fibonacci sequence by making Ann McCallum’s “Fibonacci Snack Sticks” from Eat Your Math Homework. We selected a number of bite-sized morsels (gummy bears, strawberries, blackberries) and threaded them onto skewers according to the sequence. For example Cooper chose one gummy bear, one blackberry, two strawberries, three gummy bears, five strawberries, eight gummy bears for his skewer. (Side note: Mmmmmm, gummy bears.) This activity sparked a discussion about the sequence, where you can see it, how find the next number and more.

We turned to McCallum’s book for answers. You may be wondering, as we did, “Who is this famous Fibonacci?” Well, he was an Italian mathematician circa 1170. Studying rabbit pairs and their mating patterns, he devised his sequence of numbers to explain how many pairs of rabbits he would have each month. But you don’t have to breed rabbits to get the sequence. To get the next number, you simply add the two previous numbers together.

This sequence shows up repeatedly in nature, in shell patterns, petals and more. “Nature by Numbers” is a wonderful video showing the pattern’s prevalence.

But I digress…You’ll find Fibonacci fun and more in Ann McCallum’s Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds, which combines hands-on math with yummy food. Just wait until we get to Fraction Chips. Your mouth will water.

If you want to learn more about Eat Your Math Homework, check out the book-specific site. The site includes bonus recipes, jokes, coloring sheets and a full educator’s guide.

15 thoughts on “Eat Your Math Homework: Fibonacci Fun”

  1. “Eat Your Math Homework” – yet another great idea that I wish had been around when I was a kid and getting lost in the depths of math (although it was seventh grade and “new math” that really lost me). I’d never heard of Fibonacci before, but I’d have been very willing to learn about him as a kid if candy had been involved! Or rabbits. I could have done that part easily, although our rabbits didn’t know the Fibonacci principle despite their obvious skill at multiplication. What I learned in terms of mathematics from my rabbits is that 1 male plus 2 females equals 18 babies. (true story)

    Thanks, Kirsten!

  2. Kristen ~
    How fun! That looks like a great way to teach fibonacci sequences. We like the books: fractals, googols and other mathmatical tales by Theoni Pappas and G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book by David M. Schwartz. Neither one includes food, though!

    ~ Danika

    1. Danika, we love David Schwartz. We recently read “More Than a Million.” I’m not familiar with Theoni Pappas though, so will have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Although I’m terrible at math and don’t understand anything but the most basic concepts, I love cool number facts and sequences and patterns, and I am filled with awe for anyone who “gets” math 🙂

    1. We were making shish kabobs at a friend’s house tonight, and Cooper said, I know what you are doing! Then I asked him if he remembered how to find the next number in the sequence…and he did!

  4. Thanks to Greg Pincus and PBSWorkshop, I saw this in my Twitter feed. I thought you might be interested in knowing about my book, Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. It’s published by Boyds Mills Press and available in lots of libraries. When I go to schools, we sometimes make Fibonacci fruit skewers. Delicious!

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