How Do You Eat Corn?

How Do You Eat Corn?

Survey

English: First page of Constitution of the Uni...
First page of Constitution of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This activity is perfect for Thanksgiving, when you are likely to have a lot of people in the house.

Materials

  • Pens, pencils or crayons
  • Paper

Instructions

  • Think of fun questions you want to ask people, like at a family gathering, over dinner
  • Think of likely answers to those questions. Include one catch-all answer, like None of the Above
  • Decide what group you are going to ask the questions of
  • Write down the question and list the answers below, one answer per line
  • Ask the question of people in the group, write down one mark beside each answer. For example, if three people give you the first answer, put down three marks beside that answer
  • Add up all the marks when you are through asking people for their answers
  • Tell people what the most popular answer was
  • Optional: predict what the most popular answer will be before asking people the question; compare your prediction to the results
  • Sample questions and sample answers:
    • How do you eat corn on the cob? (check out the poll on www.newgrandmas.com, in the sidebar, to see what others have answered)
      • Eat all the way across one row, then turn it to go down to the next row, like a typewriter
      • Eat all the way around at one end, then move across and eat all the way around
      • Eat the corn randomly, anywhere on the cob
  • What is your favorite pizza topping?
    • Pepperoni
    • Extra cheese
    • Onions
    • Olives
    • None of the above
  • How do you eat apples?
    • Unpeeled, uncut, just chomp into it
    • Peeled and sliced
    • Unpeeled and sliced
    • Applesauce
    • Don’t like apples
  • What is your favorite Thanksgiving pie?
    • Pumpkin
    • Pecan
    • Apple
    • My Mom’s
    • My Grandma’s
    • I don’t like pie

What Should Happen?

Your grandchildren will start to see a pattern of the most popular answer to their question. Unlike tests in school, these questions have no right answer. They are simply favorites.

They may be surprised at some of the answers. That is the value of a survey. You can’t always predict what people are going to say and won’t know until you ask them. When you ask them in the structured way that a survey represents, it is much easier to see a pattern.

Why Is This Useful?

Surveys are used by various organizations to make changes in the way they operate.

Companies use surveys to find out if their customers and employees are happy, what needs to be changed, what products they might like to see on the market or things the company could do to act more efficiently.

Political parties use surveys to see how their candidates are doing in the run-up to an election.

The census is a survey the U.S. government conducts every ten years to help plan for what citizens will need in the future and adjust political boundaries to help keep voting districts evenly represented as people move or different cities grow faster than others.

The U.S. Constitution requires this regular survey in order to reshuffle U.S. House of Representative districts to try to keep them somewhat evenly populated. According to Article 1, Section 2, “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten years.

Thanks to mathisfun.com for this activity.

 

Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers”

http://newgrandmas.com

 

Filed in: educationfamily activities Tags:

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Susan Cooper says:

    I can see where this would useful and offer a great deal of family fun. Some of the answers to the questions would make for some fun entertainment.

    • carolcovin says:

      Thanks, Susan. I like that it's open-ended, so kids can come up with their own ideas for surveys.

  2. JeriWB says:

    Surveys are indeed great learning activity. Another great aspect to surveys is how the wording of the questions can obtain drastically different results.

    • carolcovin says:

      You're right, Jeri. And, that would make a great experiment. It also took me awhile to understand that a well-designed survey has some variation of a None of the Above answer.

  3. patweber says:

    This is a perfect game to have handy in your head when your grandchildren say, "What can we play next grandma?" Thanks for the idea Cheryl.

    • carolcovin says:

      I used to collect games to play while waiting in line with kids. You're right, Pat. This can be played anywhere.