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:

### Supplies

- Scissors
- Glue
- 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!

Here’s mine:

### 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?

### Share!

Post and link your pictures in the comments, tweet them out or share them on Pinterest. And if you know someone who would enjoy this, pick up the phone and call them!

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Amazing activity

Thanks, Magdi! Glad you like it.

I’ve printed out just a picture of the tree for each student. I am going to ask my students to figure out what is going on. Once they do, they will each make one for the hall BB. I will include a reference to your site with a blurb for teachers to give it a look. Wonderful idea. Thanks.

So smart, Beverley!

Sometimes it’s better to let students figure it out than to give them the step-by-step. In fact I’m often preaching this, so it’s weird I didn’t think of it!