If you look at the photo above, you can see it has been valued at 80. Below, the abstract art is worth 180 – please note the pile of shells above the 180 is not part of the picture.
Can you work out the value of the unicorn mermaid below…
Tracy Bowen, a P4 teacher was using the playground with her class to explore a range of concepts. However this one is a lovely introduction to algebraic thinking. In small groups, children were asked to create a 2-minute picture using sticks, stones and shells. After this, the class gathered and collectively assigned values to each object. The decision was made that cones = 3, shells = 5 and sticks = 10. The group then went back and had to calculate the value of their picture.
The unicorn mermaid had 14 sticks (10×14) and 52 shells (5×52) which gave it a value of 400 or 14s+52sh = 400. Personally, I think this picture is priceless.
Thanks Tracy for such an open-ended adaptation of a simple concept that encourages children to use their multiplication skills. A useful development from this, can be seen in this blog post.
This blog post was originally published in February 2018.