Madagascar is one of the biggest islands in the world. But for a big place, it’s got some of the tiniest animals. This fellow is a chameleon from Madagascar who might be the world’s smallest reptile. He’s just 1/2-inch long – that’s about the same length as 2 grains of rice! If you count his tail, he’s about as long as 4 grains of rice. Scientists aren’t sure why these creatures are so small. We’ve only found a few of these “nano-chameleons” – you can probably see why!
Wee ones: If you line up 5 grains of rice, then add 1 more, how many grains of rice are lined up?
Little kids: If you set up a snack of 8 bugs for this chameleon and he eats just 1, how many bugs are left? Bonus: What if the chameleon instead eats 1/2 of the 8 bugs? How many are left then?
Big kids: If 15 nano-chameleons end to end equal the length of 1 full-sized chameleon, and 2 full-sized chameleons equal the length of 1 puppy, how many nano-chameleons have to line up to equal the length of 1 puppy? Bonus: If 2 puppies equal the length of 1 full-grown dog, how many nano-chameleons have to line up to equal the length of 1 full-grown dog?
Wee ones: 6 grains of rice!
Little kids: 7 bugs. Bonus: 4 bugs.
Big kids: 30 nano-chameleons, because the puppy is equal to 2 x 15 nano-chameleons. Bonus: 60 nano-chameleons.
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.