Giant Rubber Duck

How many Giant Rubber Ducks tall is the CN Tower?

More #Canada150Math Challenge 3 Act Fun!

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 002 Featured Image

We are cruising through week 2 of the #Canada150Math Challenge and I was inspired by @NatashaMFolino to create the visuals for this task when she shared the following tweet on the #Canada150Math hashtag:

For those who aren’t aware, the Giant Rubber Duck will be making a visit to Toronto and five other towns in Ontario for Canada’s 150th Birthday during the summer. There are some articles here, here and here that might inspire other questions for you to use in your classroom.

We will be continuing the challenge all month long, so be sure to check them all out here.

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Act 1: Introduce the Task

#Canada150Math Challenge for Wednesday June 7th

Show students the act 1 video.

Then ask students to do a rapid write of what they notice and what they wonder. Alternatively, you might have students simply chat this out with their neighbours.

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 003 What Do You Notice and Wonder

Then, show this video outlining an image to scale comparing the Giant Rubber Duck and the CN Tower.

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 005 to Scale

From the video, students are challenged to predict:

How many Giant Rubber Ducks tall is the CN Tower?

Then, I ask them to make a prediction based only on their spatial reasoning from the visual and intuition.

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 007 Make a Prediction

Once students have been given some time to think independently and then discuss with neighbours, we will share out to the group and jot down some predictions.

Act 2: Reveal Some Information

After students have stated predictions and their reasoning, I’ll show students some more information gradually.

Depending on the readiness of your group, you might consider showing this image which reveals the height of one duck and the height of the CN Tower:

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 008 Act 2 Measurements

Or, you might share this image showing the height of 4 ducks and the height of the CN Tower:

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 009 Act 2 Measurements with 4 Ducks

Act 3: Reveal the Solution

Once students have had time to work and share their thinking, we can show the act 3 video to see how many Mr. Pearces it will take to reach the height of The Great Canadian Flag.

Alternatively, you could show this image:

Giant Rubber Duck vs. CN Tower 3 Act Math 023 Act 3 Solution


Giant Rubber Duck Sequel

Act 1: What Do You Notice? What Do You Wonder?

Show students this video.

Allow some time for students to notice and wonder.

What Do You Notice and Wonder?

The question I’m hoping to land on is:

How many ducks can fit in the Western Channel?

Giant Rubber Duck Sequel - Make a Prediction

Allow students to talk with their peers and arrive at predictions. Share them out.

Act 2: Reveal Some Information

After students share and you record predictions, then give them some information to work with to update their predictions.

Giant Rubber Duck Sequel Act 2 - Western Channel Measurements - Update Your Prediction

Giant Rubber Duck Sequel Act 2 - Giant Rubber Duck Measurements Update Prediction

Act 3: The Big Reveal

Show students this video.

Alternatively, you can show this image:Giant Rubber Duck Sequel Act 3


Giant Rubber Duck Sequel #2

In this sequel, we set up the question for Day #7 of the #Canada150Math Challenge:How many people would it take to outweigh the giant rubber duck.001 The Question

In this task, we are asking students to think about the Giant Rubber Duck in terms of weight:

How many people would it take to outweigh the giant rubber duck?

As usual, we’re looking for students to make predictions first.

How many people would it take to outweigh the giant rubber duck.002 Make a Prediction

You might want to give kids some context as to how tall the duck is in comparison to an adult (or in terms of a student).

How many people would it take to outweigh the giant rubber duck.003 Act 2 - Measurements

After predictions are made, you can have students go ahead and actually attempt calculating how many people it would take using their own assumptions (are the people adults? students? etc.).

How many people would it take to outweigh the giant rubber duck.004 Act 2 Scene 2 More Measurements

I hope you have some fun with this one and are going to share out to the hashtag on Twitter!


Fun stuff, eh?

Be sure to check back to my blog, the GECDSB Canada150Math page and follow the @Canada150Math Twitter account and #Canada150Math hashtag to access a new math question or provocation each weekday throughout the month. We hope you’ll share photos of students engaging in Canada150Math tasks and their thinking so we can re-tweet with the rest of Canada!

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Canada 150 Math Challenge #Canada150Math

Download The Task and Resources

Grab all the videos, images and resources by clicking download below:


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About Kyle Pearce

I’m Kyle Pearce and I am a former high school math teacher. I’m now the K-12 Mathematics Consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board, where I uncover creative ways to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in mathematics. Read more.


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