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Maths - Dividing the Camels - Story

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Offline Sara

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Maths - Dividing the Camels - Story
« on: May 23, 2015, 05:41:40 PM »
From the book "Assemblies that Count" - now out of print.

You need lots of volunteers, and a set of 12 A4 identical pictures of camels.

Tell the story, and as you do so, get the children to act it out.

There was once an old arab who died and left his fortune to his 3 sons. He left 1/2 of his fortune to his oldest son, 1/4 of his fortune to his middle son and 1/6 of his fortune to his youngest son. When he died, they counted that he had a herd of 11 camels. They decided to divide them up according to their father's wishes.

(Get 11 children up to the front and give them each a card with a picture of a camel on. The first son worked out that he should have - (do this calculation with the children, perhaps on a flipchart), 5.5 camels.

Sort the camels into two groups and have some fun pretending to slice one of the children in half, etc. They soon realised this was not great.

The second son would get (again, do the calculation) 2 and three quarter camels; not ideal for one of the camels.

The third son was due to receive 1 and 5 sixths of a camel - again a very unsatisfactory solution.

So the three sons went to see the old man who lived in a cave at the edge of the mountains, and explained their dilemna

"My friends I have nothing to offer you save all my worldly goods - this camel. Please take it."(Get another child up and give them a camel picture as well as they join the other camels.

The three sons returned to their village and started to recalculate. This time, something amazing happened.

Repeat the calculations: the first son gets 6, the second son gets 3 and the third gets 2.

The old man's sacrifice had saved the lives of several camels.

But to show how magical a story this is - 6+3+2 = 11, and the sons realised that they had a camel left over. They rushed back to the old man to return his camel, and shower him with gifts of gratitude.

Treat others as you wish to be treated.
What you give, you receive.
Maths is fun.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 01:57:36 PM by Sara »
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