This "scavenger hunt" activity targets a portion of the 6.EE.3 standard of generating equivalent expressions using the commutative property of addition. Hang 8 dinosaur posters around the room (or prepare them for a station/center) and have students copy down each expression. Students then simplify them by combining like terms then use the excavation key to evaluate each expression for the given values of the variables (6.EE.2c).
Included are .pdf versions for universal printing, as well as Microsoft Publisher .pub files for editing if you have software to do so. The original version has positive and negative terms, but the simplified expressions are all positive. A challenge version is also included which begins to prepare students for 7.NS.1 and requires students to add and subtract integers (but not rational numbers.)
Pro tip: I tacked the pteradactyl to the ceiling, hid the velociraptor in a cabinet, and stuck the T-Rex under a counter. The added fun of "hunting" for the dinosaurs boosted my 6th graders' engagement significantly.
All images public domain via pixabay.com.
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