Esti-mysteries are a math routine created by Steve Wyborny (@SteveWyborney). He has shared lots of examples of this routine on his website. An esti-mystery uses an image to invite students to make an estimate. After an initial estimate, clues appear which help students narrow down the possible set of answers and refine their estimates. Most of the esti-mysteries that Steve has shared ask students to estimate a collection of discrete objects.
In Nova Scotia, students need to be familiar with both metric and imperial measurements. In Math at Work 10, students need to be familiar with measurements as well as converting between units. While brainstorming with a teacher, we decided that an esti-mystery might be an engaging way to get students to think about different units of measurement while at the same time giving them some benchmarks for a variety of different units.
Above are two esti-mysteries I created using Google slides. The first asks students to estimate the length of a pencil and the second asks students to estimate the weight of a bunch of bananas. Since I'm using these with high school students, the types of clues that are given can include vocabulary terms that you might not use with younger students. It allows a place to include a review of some terms that they may not have heard in a while (e.g. prime and composite).
Updated Sept 9th - I created one more esti-mystery. This one to estimate the length of a bank of lockers in the hallway to the nearest hundredth of a metre.
Updated Sept 16th - I created a fall esti-mystery. This one to estimate the weight of a pumpkin.
Andrew Stadel's Estimation180 website is a great source of inspiration for these types of measurement esti-mysteries. For example, I used the image from Day 55, the capacity of a cylindrical vase, to quickly create an esti-mystery.
Mathematics Essentials 12 - 1.6 Identify, use, and convert among and between SI units and Imperial units to measure and solve measurement problems
Mathematics 10 - M01 Students will be expected to solve problems that involve linear measurement, using SI and imperial units of measure, estimation strategies, and measurement strategies.
Mathematic at Work 10 - M01 demonstrate an understanding of the International System of Units (SI) by describing the relationships of the units for length, area, volume, capacity, mass, and temperature and applying strategies to convert SI units to imperial units.
M02 demonstrate an understanding of the imperial system by describing the relationships of the units for length, area, volume, capacity, mass and temperature, comparing the American and British imperial units for capacity and applying strategies to convert imperial units to SI units.
Mathematics Essentials 10 - D3 estimate distances in metric units and in imperial units by applying personal referents.
D4 estimate capacities in metric units by applying personal referents.