A Mathematical Mystery Tour: Higher Thinking Math Tasks

Order a book and get a free Tour Guide. Bonus: Your book is signed by the author!

It’s suitable for Grades 5-11 students and it’s fun for math-interested adults who like Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio. The free Tour Guide Newspaper is filled with fascinating facts, stories and questions that supplement the book. Check out the optionally purchased Millennium Supplement. It has another 22 power-packed pages that bring the Mystery Tour book into the 21st Century: Mysterious numbers connected to fractals, the stock market, the musical scale and more! (See the links below to see sample pages.)

This book (and supplement ), based in large part on the Fibonacci Numbers and the golden ratio (or golden mean) has grown to be a math teaching classic and a resource book for teachers, homeschooling parents and other interested adults in its 24 years of existence. It is still widely used and purchased. There are links below for more golden ratio info also.

Here is an informative review of two of Mark’s books, the second is the Mystery Tour (with it’s earlier cover):

Many teachers have offered such unsolicited endorsements as these:

“For several years I’ve used The Mathematical Mystery Tour Book, Millenium Supplement and newspapers as part of a yearlong interdisciplinary math unit in my 4th/5th grade gifted pull-out class. My students love it. The higher-level thinking activities in the book and creative newspaper (a delightfully fun and informative resource for kids) are engaging, challenging, and allow my students to see math in a new way.” Pat Brackley, Elementary Gifted Ed Specialist

“Three years after retirement (I taught middle school gifted kids in the “hood”), I still miss the classroom and our favorite teaching/learning experience…The Math Mystery Tour! That’s probably what motivated this email. I have dispensed all of my “good teaching stuff” among friends. However, I could not release hold of one copy of the manual and a stack of the original newspapers. Educators don’t always know the end results of their efforts. I just wanted you to know that you made an indelible impression on me and all my students. We often discussed you as if you were in the room.” —Ann Woodward

“I teach a 6-7-8th grade gifted and talented class in Socorro, New Mexico. This book is fabulous! It is my full sixth grade curriculum! I branch from it to literature, writing, poetry, science and other subjects. I have never seen a book so student-friendly, and subject-inclusive. It pulls math concepts through all subject areas.” —Kim Berlat

“I have used your materials for years in Australia and have promoted your publications to teachers throughout Australia as I was an educational consultant for years there with the Association of Independent Schools. Your work was such an inspiration to me and the students and teachers I worked with. Thank you for that inspiration….” —Liz Dieter (now in Canada)

A teacher, parent and vendor told me at an educational conference, in a completely unsolicited remark, “The Mathematical Mystery Tour changed my life!” She went on to say that she had found it in the local library and introduced her kids to it:
“I started seeing “math” in everything. Patterns in nature, golden ratios in architecture, numbers adding up to more than numbers had ever added up to before in my experience. All of a sudden, I realized that I was not only understanding math better than I ever had, I also liked it! I actually liked math!! I liked teaching it, and I wanted to learn more about it myself. I wanted to learn algebra and geometry,and even calculus. All of a sudden, math made sense… math will never again be for me a row of long division problems or a set of multiplication flash cards. Math will forever be pine cones and pineapples and a charming adventure that begins, ’1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…’”

Homeschooling parents love the Fibonacci Numbers and Golden ratio:

“My children and I loved your book, A Mathematical Mystery Tour. We began working on it in December and are just finishing up on the moon section right now. We also have kept up on a daily basis the Saxon math we have always done. But your Fibonacci math has been so exciting. We got hung up for a long time on the Great Pyramid and its secret math power. We also loved (and could explore more) the golden angle in regards to art of the masters… THANK YOU for the Fibonacci Number mathbook. We all have loved it!” — Paula Elmer

The Mystery Tour has been used by many thousands of youths and has inspired adults to a greater appreciation of the secret number language of nature. It is multidisciplinary, ranging through real numerical phenomena in history, biology, physics, architecture, art, astronomy, and mythology. It is visual and hands-on but requires deep math thinking. The activities are on black-line masters. Every few masters are accompanied with teacher pages that give answers, notes, and activity extensions so that the teacher never needs to be caught “flat-footed” with this rather unusual mathematical material. And get ready to embrace the spiral/helix as a new friend.

Click to order: Ordering

If you need just the Tour Guide Newspaper download information, contact mathman@markwahl.com to get the URL. Because this valuable guide and adjunct to the book is not included in many discount copies of the book sold on the net, you will be charged $5 for obtaining this feature from Mark Wahl Learning Services (call 360-221-8842 to special order it). It is, of course, included free with copies of the book sold here.

[Click for Sample Pages of book and newspaper ]

[ Sample the exclusive Millennium Supplement also.]

[ Click for a Golden Ratio activity from the book copyable for your class]

See the recent Youtube student video gaining widespread attention for a youth’s original research on how Fibonacci Numbers can optimize solar panels: link

See Vi Hart’s entertaining videos on Youtube regarding the Fibonacci numbers optimizing plants’ leaf placement, etc. For Part 1: Link; For Part 2: Link; For Part 3: Link

More about the book: The Mystery Tour is no set of scattered “bytes” of math. Rather it is a unified, unfolding journey with ideas linked together by the well-known Fibonacci Numbers and the celebrated Golden Ratio. (An enclosed mind-map of the whole book is a spiral!) After some math effort a student can begin to see how bees are linked to the Great Pyramid in Egypt, how pine cones are linked to our DNA, and how a Greek vase is linked to the earth-moon relationship. (Now in the 2001 supplement there are connections to fractals, the stock market and the musical scale). These are not just poetic math metaphorsæthey are real, undeniable, numeric trails that leave the learner with goosebumps.

Many pre-algebraic, early algebraic, and geometrical math skills are exercised and conceptually expanded in the process. The new supplement takes skills further into algebra. Some skills used are calculator skills, mental math, infinite processes, numerical patterns, powers of numbers, ratios, metric measurement, graphing, degree measurement, triangle areas, and geometric design.

The Mystery Tour Guide Newspaper is a one-time edition. Originally an 11×22 in.disposable newspaper, it now comes with the book as a downloadable pdf file of 25 pages (URL given with book purchase). It is coordinated with the book and has many articles of interest that bring out interdisciplinary (e.g., art, history, astronomy) connections with math absorbed while the student is engaging activities on photocopied copied pages from the Mystery Tour book. It’s extremely readable, friendly, and full of fascinating surprises, puzzles, questions, etc. Its text is interspersed with computational questions to keep the student thinking about the material. Again, one of these Guides can be downloaded when you buy a copy of the Mathematical Mystery Tour and that includes permission to create more copies for classroom use. (It is desirable to have one per student or one per small group of three students.)

The 2001 Supplement has another 22 activity pages that bring the Mystery Tour into the 21st Century and span from middle grades to high school : mysterious numbers connected to fractals, the stock market, the musical scale and more!

Book: 8.5 ×11 in., 256 pp. Newspaper: 11×22 in 16 pp. Supplement: 8.5 × 11 in., 22 pp.

COSTS (To buy, click here.) Mathematical Mystery Tour Book + the free download info for the Mystery Tour Guide, just $27.95 (With the latest cover and a signature by the author! Click “Ordering” on the top menu.)
One Millennium Supplement signed by the author $8.95
Special “Complete Set”-Save $2.00: Book + Tour Guide Newspaper URL + Supplement = $35.95.
(8.6% Tax, WA only, will be added)
[Whole set Shipping & Handling by Media Mail = $6.50].
Out-of-USA shipments: call to ask for shipping quotes
or just order and they will be automatically computed.

Buy now. If you need just the Tour Guide Newspaper download information, contact mathman@markwahl.com to get the URL. You may be asked to verify your ownership of the Mystery Tour book.

Additional Mystery Tour 2001 Supplements: $8.95 each

Order these custom items on the by phone (360-221-8842) or click the “Ordering” link in the top menu.