A poem can tell as good a story as a book. Here at Bedtime Math we’re loving this poem about macaroni and cheese, shared by our fan William O.:
If you take
All the macaroni and cheese
Place it noodle to noodle
With all that cheesy goo
It would stretch from here
To Aunt Bea’s house.
– Tom Robert Shields
There’s a lot of math in there. How many mac ‘n cheese noodles do you think you’ve ever eaten? Whose house would you want to reach with them, and how far would it be? Would you eat any of the mac ‘n cheese off the ground once you were done? Do the math to see if you want to try it!
Wee ones: If you lay down the first 10 noodles of your mac ‘n cheese trail, and you eat the 1st, then the 2nd, then the 3rd…which noodle do you eat next?
Little kids: If you eat the 1st mac ‘n cheese noodle, then the 3rd, then the 5th, now which noodle do you eat next? Bonus: If out of 20 noodles on the ground you wisely eat just 1, how many are left on the ground?
Big kids: If you’ve eaten 12 bowls of mac ‘n cheese in your life, and each had 100 noodles, how many noodles long would a 12-bowl trail have? Bonus: If each noodle is 1 inch, how many feet long is that? (Reminder if needed: A foot has 12 inches.)
Wee ones: The 4th.
Little kids: The 7th. Bonus: 19 noodles.
Big kids: 1,200 noodles. Bonus: 100 feet — you’re just dividing by 12 after multiplying by 12! 100 feet is only 2-3 houses away….a lot less than a mile (5,280 feet!).
And thank you to poet Tom Robert Shields in the book Yummy!: Eating through a Day for this great poem!
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.