Home | KS2 Maths Lessons | Number (place value) | Acorn Woodpeckers

Number (place value): Acorn Woodpeckers

1 - Learning Objective

Challenge level ⭐⭐

(designed for children with prior knowledge of the Year 3 and Year 4 programme of study)

Learning Objective

We are learning how to solve a natural world problem by using and applying our skills and knowledge of number and place value.

Useful prior knowledge:

  • To round numbers to the nearest multiple of 10 and 100
  • To recognise the place value of each digit in a 4-digit number

Credit: BBC Four - The Life of Birds

Clip Description

You will often hear a woodpecker before you will see it. The drumming sound made by this remarkable bird is created when it rapidly taps its beak against the trunk of a tree. There are a number of reasons why a woodpecker may do this – such as marking its territory, rooting out insects and grubs, storing food and drilling a hole for a nest.

In this fascinating clip, a family of North American acorn woodpeckers are busy drilling thousands of small, neat holes into a tree. Acorns are then carefully tapped into the holes so that the woodpeckers have a store of them in the winter months when food is scarce. How many acorns do you think might be stored in a single tree? Watch the clip to find out.

Quick Whiteboard Challenge

Most woodpeckers feed on wood-eating beetle grubs. To reach these treats, a woodpecker will hammer a tree trunk with its pointed beak up to 15 times per second.

How long would it take a woodpecker to hammer a tree trunk 120 times if it was hammering at a rate of 15 times per second?