Center Focus

Count Pine Cone Scales

  1. Gather pine cones from outside your school with your students, or bring some in from home. You should try to get both male and female cones. Male cones: generally smaller, with scales closed up. Females cones: larger, open scales, often seeds are visible or seed pockets.
  2. Have your students estimate the number of scales on both kinds of pine cones.
  3. They should then actually count several of each and come up with an average. Have a large recording sheet available at the center where students can record their final averages.
  4. When all students have finished, you can get the class average using the totals.