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Nelson Education > School > Mathematics K-8 > Math Focus > Grade 5 > Parent Centre > Web Quests > Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Patterns in Mathematics

Just How Big Are Your Feet?


Animal feet or paws are often much different in size and shape. This is how trackers can figure out which animal made tracks that they have found.



You will use your own foot as a reference to describe the feet or paws of animals.



  1. Make a track: Wet your foot, and press it on the floor. Measure the length and the width of the track in whole centimetres.
  2. Record your measurements in Comparing Feet and Paws .
  3. Use a Web search engine to find the foot or paw measurements of animals you’re interested in. (Or, you could measure tracks you find in mud or snow around your home or school.) If you use a Web search, you could try searches like “polar bear, track size” or “polar bear, paw size”, or “polar bear, paw length”. You can use the feet or paws of mammals, bird, reptiles, or amphibians.
  4. Record the length and width of each foot or paw inwhole centimetres in Comparing Feet and Paws .
  5. Compare each foot or paw to yours using an expression. For example, if your foot is 22 cm long, an expression for the length of the polar bear paw is l + 8. Record your expressions for length and width.
  6. If you’re not sure about the length or width of a paw or foot, but you have seen a photo and you think you can make a pretty close estimate, record the measurement like this: 20 cm (est.), to show it is an estimate.
  7. Just how big are your feet? Do they seem larger or smaller than those of most animals?




Any search engine


Comparing Feet and Paws





Criteria Work meets standard of excellence Work meets standard of proficiency Work meets acceptable standard Work does not yet meet acceptable standard
Connects mathematical concepts to real-world phenomena
Makes insightful connections between real-world contexts and mathematical ideas. Makes meaningful connections between real-world contexts and mathematical ideas. Makes simple connections between real-world contexts and mathematical ideas. Makes minimal or weak connections between real-world contexts and mathematical ideas.
Makes generalizations
Comprehensively analyzes situations and makes insightful generalizations. Completely analyzes situations and makes logical generalizations. Superficially analyzes situations and makes simple generalizations. Is unable to analyze situations and make generalizations.