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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Ashleigh Swinford
3rd grade
Chattanooga Valley Elementary School
Walker County Schools


In this task, students are to arrange 18 people at 6 different card tables. Each table must be full and there must be an adult at each table. Students will use perimeter to find the solution.

Illustrative Task
Pretend that four people live at your house (Your mom, dad, sister, and you). Aunt Sue, Uncle John and their six children (Jamal, Kevin, Carl, Annie, Stephanie, and Maxine) are coming for dinner. Uncle Kenny is coming, too. He has a wife (Aunt Jenny) and four kids (Earl, Charles, Jasmine and Justine).

Mom has six card tables she can use but you don’t have to use all of them. (A card table seats four, one on each side). You can put two or more of the card tables together to form a rectangle if you like.
  • Work with a partner to decide what seating arrangement is best.
  • With a partner, look at the samples provided and decide which one does not belong.
  • Discuss the reasons that you think a certain shape does not belong with the other three.
  • With your partner, create your own set of shapes with one that doesn’t belong.
  • Draw your puzzle problem to be included in a class book to share.

GPS Addressed
M3M3. Students will understand and measure the perimeter of simple geometric figures (squares and rectangles).
  1. Understand the meaning of the linear unit in measuring perimeter.
  2. Understand the concept of perimeter as being the boundary of a simple geometric figure.
  3. Determine the perimeter of a simple geometric figure by measuring and summing the lengths of the sides.

Video Information
Use these questions to guide your thinking about some of the important teacher ideas in the lesson featured in the video clip.
  1. What kinds of questions does the teacher ask to promote students’ problem solving?
  2. How is the teacher gauging students’ current understandings and building from those understandings?
  3. Consider the GPS standards listed with this video.
  4. What makes this lesson different from lessons you have taught on this topic?

Classroom Materials

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