Activity 4

Olive Math


* To reinforce math skills.
* To help students see real-world applications for math skills.

Presenting the Activity

Introduce the activity by telling students that we use our math skills every day, so it is important to keep those skills sharp. Reflect on some math skills students might have used today (e.g., watching the time to see how much they had before catching the bus, figuring out how much money they needed for snack or lunch, estimating how many pieces of paper they might need for a project, etc.). Then have students complete the activity as a class or individually.


1. Six cans
2. Seven cans
3. Four slices of pizza, eight black ripe olives
4. Nine olives
5. Three olives should be colored
6. Eight olives in each of three bowls
7. One half (1/2)
8. Four.

Follow-up Activities

1. Have students keep a journal for the next two or three days in which they write down the times they used math skills during the day. They should total the times for each day. Then have them estimate how many times they use math skills in a week, a month and a year.

2. Encourage students to check the prices on food items the next time they go shopping with their parents. As they watch the cart fill, they should keep a running tally to see if they can predict what the bill will be.