Real World Investigations are powerful and engaging learning experiences where students learn about the mathematics in their world. These activities consist of 3 parts, each requiring a more in-depth application of learning as students move from analysis of provided data to integration of their own data from the real world.

PART 1 - Students learn to analyze data provided for them.
PART 2 - Some data is provided, and the students add some of their own content.
PART 3 - Students analyze data from their own lives, imaginations, and research.


On this page you can access a selected set of Real World Investigations. All Investigations are freely available at the bottom of each topic page within our Curriculum Library. No purchase or login is required to access these activities.

Alleah's School. Students analyze various school settings. They must use fractions to describe characteristics they want to communicate. 3rd Grade - Understanding Fractions.

ViewPART 1 - Alleah's School: Alleah's Data
ViewPART 2 - Alleah's School: Create Some Data
ViewPART 3 - Alleah's School: Your Data

Lesson Plan

Colleen's Calorie Count. Students create meal plans given calorie counts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They estimate the total calories for each meal by rounding and then adding. 3rd Grade - Place Value.

ViewPART 1 - Colleen's Calorie Count: Colleen's Data
ViewPART 2 - Colleen's Calorie Count: Create Some Data
ViewPART 3 - Colleen's Calorie Count: Your Data

Lesson Plan

Sonya's Savings Plan. Students create a savings plan for various items. They use patterns of 10 to decide if it’s best to save for 10 days, weeks, months, or years. 4th Grade - Numbers and Operations in Base Ten: Understanding Multi-Digit Whole Numbers.

ViewPART 1 - Sonya's Savings Plan: Sonya's Data
ViewPART 2 - Sonya's Savings Plan: Create Some Data
ViewPART 3 - Sonya's Savings Plan: Your Data

Lesson Plan

Shawn's Swing Set. Students plan to build a swing set for their school. They add and subtract mixed numbers to determine how much of each item is needed for the swing set. 4th Grade - Adding/Subtracting Fractions Across 1 Whole.

ViewPART 1 - Shawn's Swing Set: Shawn's Data
ViewPART 2 - Shawn's Swing Set: Create Some Data
ViewPART 3 - Shawn's Swing Set: Your Data

Lesson Plan

South Shore's Running Club. Students determine goals for an after school running club. They add and subtract mixed numbers to determine distances run and distances left to run. 5th Grade - Adding/Subtracting Improper Fractions/Mixed Numbers with Uncommon Denominators.

ViewPART 1 - South Shore's Running Club: South Shore's Data
ViewPART 2 - South Shore's Running Club: Create Some Data
ViewPART 3 - South Shore's Running Club: Your Data

Lesson Plan

Sarah's Smoothies. Students decide how much fruit and vegetables are needed for different smoothies. They multiply decimals to determine how much of each ingredient to purchase. 5th Grade - Multiplication with Decimals.

ViewPART 1 - Sarah's Smoothies: Sarah's Data
ViewPART 2 - Sarah's Smoothies: Create Some Data
ViewPART 3 - Sarah's Smoothies: Your Data

Lesson Plan