Number Devil Activities: The First Night
Are you reading The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger? Try some of these fun activities after reading chapter one, The First Night.
1) Graphing Dreams:
Tired of dreaming crazy dreams every night, Robert felt relieved when the Number Devil visited him in his sleep. Do you remember your dreams? Are they crazy? For the next 10 days plot the number of dreams you remember having each night on this line graph. Be sure to label the abscissa (the x axis) and the ordinate (the y axis) and give your graph a title. At the end of the 10 days calculate the average number of dreams you had each night. If you remember any crazy dreams you’d like to remember, jot them down on the back of the page.
2) Summarizing a Mathematician:
Learn about a mathematician such as Euclid or Pythagoras. Write a summary of what you've discovered. Be sure to tell what you think made him or her a great mathematician.
The Number Devil said, "Most genius mathematicians are bad at sums." Does this seem to be true of your mathematician? Why or why not?
3) Gum Challenge:
Up for a challenge? Cut a piece of gum in half. Cut each half in half again. And again. How many times can you halve the halves?
4) Investigating Palindromes:
When the Number Devil multiplied 1,111 by 1,111 the answer was 1,234,321. A number that is the same forward and backward it is called a palindrome. A date such as the 20th of February, 2002 (20-02-2002) is a palindrome. What is the next palindromic date that you can think of? Palindromic words include words such as ANNA or LEVEL. Music can also be composed with a palindromic pattern such as the 3rd movement of Joseph Haydn's Symphony #47 (nicknamed The Palindrome). The longest palindromic word in the English language is the onomatopoeic word, TATTARRATTAT. Many people have fun writing sentences and poems in palindromic patterns such as A MAN A PLAN A CANAL PANAMA. What words and sentences can you think of that are palindromic?
Learn more about palindromes. Read Too Hot to Hoot and figure out the clever riddles.
Listen to the 3rd movement of Joseph Haydn's Symphony #47.
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