Alan McCormack developed strategies teaching mathematics with magic when he taught in San Diego schools, and he’s graciously sharing his skills with us here. Try this fun one from his book “Magic and Showmanship for Teachers“.
By folding a square of paper in HALF four times, then snipping off a corner of it, your paper square can show just the right number of holes that a spectator calls out! Here’s the presentation as explained in Mr. McCormack’s book:
The Predicting Paper
Visual/spatial thinking forms a cornerstone among the essential thinking skills for science, mathematics, and most other subjects. Good mathematicians have the ability to “see” objects in their mind’s eye, and can mentally imagine rotations and directions of the objects. Many magical effects, such as this one, are excellent visual/spatial ability mind-stretchers.
EFFECT and STORYLINE
“I’ve invented a new type of paper which has the ability to make PREDICTIONS. Watch….” You then fold up squares of paper and trim the corners with scissors. When a student is invited to roll a die, and a five is rolled, you unfold the paper and demonstrate that it has 5 holes!
No matter what number is thrown, you are able to unfold the paper and show the correctly predicted number of holes.
- Paper squares (about 4-5 inches on a side)
- A die
continued … Click on page 2 below to read HOW YOU DO IT!