Grade 8 Math Students Work With Grade 4 Writers on Deductive Reasoning

In an activity that was both cross-divisional and interdisciplinary, students in the Middle School’s geometry honors class applied their learning of deductive reasoning and the Law of Syllogism to teach grade 4 students new writing skills.
 
The two grades met in the Library to apply deductive reasoning to a written story, similar to the classic children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. That book can exemplify the Law of Syllogism in that granting the mouse one request led to a cascade of requests that also needed to be met. 
 
“Grade 8 students were paired with grade 4 students and were asked to write a story that used conditional statements and the Law of Syllogism,” said geometry teacher Cori Samskey, who worked with Librarian Darla Magana and grade 4 teachers to set up the lesson. “It was a lot of fun, and really eye-opening for the students to see these concepts used in multiple subjects.”
 
Ms. Samskey read the children’s book to the classes before the older Tartans and younger Tartans teamed up to write a similar story using the same concepts.
 
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie famously opens by warning the reader that if you give a mouse a cookie, he will ask for a glass of milk, and if you give him a glass of milk, he will then ask for a straw.
 
“The Law of Syllogism allows you to conclude that if you give a mouse a cookie, he will eventually ask for a straw,” Ms. Samskey said.
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