Pomegranates (3 Act Task)

Grade level: 1st/2nd/3rd

Content standards2.OA.C.41.OA.C.6 (?)

Practice standardMP4

Act One

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Focus question: How many pomegranates will fit in the bottom of the basket?

Estimate. (Too high? Too low?)

Act Two

Pomegranate picture (one row of 5, one column of 3)

Act Three


For older students, or if students ask, “How many pomegranates will fit in the entire basket?” you could also show this picture and see how students work to figure it out. (There’s no video to show the ‘final’ result here but this could lead to an interesting discussion!)

Other extension suggestions (via Twitter):

  • “You might discuss how many would/could go in a second “layer” – one way is to balance them on top of each other; but, that’s not usually how one packs spheres [or pomegranates]. It looks to me like a second layer would be 4×2 [so, 8] instead of 5×3…” (via Benjamin Dickman)
    • “I wonder how many layers we would be able to do with that alternating 15-8 structure?” (via Jenna Laib)
  • “For older students, even giving the measurements without some of the visuals. What’s a typical diameter of a pomegranate?” (via Jenna Laib)

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