Seems I’m on a craft roll with this seasonal math stuff.
I found this great fall tree craft and I thought, “Trees? How about factor trees?”
So I got out the supplies and started playing.
Here’s the fun fall factor tree activity I came up with:
- 4 Pieces of construction paper in fall leaf colors
- 1 Piece of brown construction paper
- 1 Piece of neutral paper
- Dark crayon or marker
Step 1: Create a composite number.
Choose 4 different prime factors to use. Use a few of each and multiply them together.
I picked 2, 3, 5 and 7. After multiplying, here’s what I got:
2*2*2 * 3*3 * 5*5*5*5 * 7*7= 2,205,000
Keep in mind that each pair of 2*5 makes a zero at the end of your number. In retrospect, I might have created a number with no 2′s or no 5′s so as to avoid this.
Step 2: Factor naturally.
Factor the number like you would naturally. This will be how you construct leaves and branches.
Note: if you have a class do this, each student may do it differently, which’ll make the trees much more fun!
Step 3: Make some factor leaves.
Cut leaf shapes from the leaf colored construction paper.
Use a marker or dark crayon to make each leaf color a different prime factor.
Step 4: Make the trunk and branches.
Cut a wide piece of brown construction paper for the trunk. Cut many thin strips of brown to make all the branches.
Write all the composite numbers from your factoring on the branches.
Step 5: Arrange your tree.
Arrange your tree. You may have to play with it to get it to fit.
At the end of each branch there should be either
- Two more branches (two composite numbers),
- Two leaves (two prime numbers), or
- A branch and a leaf (a composite and a prime).
Step 6: Glue and discuss.
If you had your class do this, have students compare their trees. How many of them did it exactly the same? What kinds of variations did they have?
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