Have you ever drawn with sidewalk chalk? What’s awesome is that you have a whole sidewalk for your picture, so that picture can be huge – much bigger than on a piece of paper. It got really huge when more than 6,000 people together drew the world’s largest chalk pavement art. Those little blocks in the corner of the photo are buildings! Drawn in California in 2008, the picture covered 90,000 square feet. It took just 15 hours, and what’s really cool is that more than 4,000 of those people were kids. In 2015 an even bigger picture was drawn by 5,678 kids. But we still love this lizard. Next time you go outside, you could turn your driveway or sidewalk into your own giant picture – at least until it rains.
Wee ones: How many feet can you count on that lizard?
Little kids: If you and 4 friends draw one giant toe, how many of you are drawing? Bonus: If you draw for 3 hours starting at 9:00 in the morning, at what time do you finally take a break?
Big kids: If that lizard has 4 feet and 4 toes on each foot, how many more toes does it have than you do? Bonus: If 6,000 people drew this art and each one used up 3 boxes of chalk, how many boxes were used?
The sky’s the limit: The area of a rectangle is its width in feet times its length. If that perfectly square picture covers 90,000 square feet, how wide is the square? (Remember a square means that width and length are the same number.)
Wee ones: 4 feet.
Little kids: 5 people. Bonus: At 12:00 noon.
Big kids: 6 more, since it has 16 toes and you have just 10. Bonus: 18,000 boxes.
The sky’s the limit: 300 feet. We know 3 x 3 is 9, and since there are 4 zeroes, we need 2 zeroes on each 3 to make 4 zeroes once we multiply.
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.