WhiteheathInfant and Nursery School

Learning, Fun & Friends

School Logo


Video Controls

Maths Week

Global Maths week

(exploring multicultural and historical aspect of maths)



  • Happy Puzzle company



  • To learn about maths in other cultures

  • To learn about maths a long time ago


Possible outcomes:

  • Children count in another language

  • Children make a game

  • Children make a measuring resource using a cubit

  • Children make a number line with Chinese/ Egyptian/ Roman or Mayan numerals

  • Children make a record keeping resource, either a quipu or an abacus

  • Children sing songs/ make food from other cultures


Hands-on activities from around the world:

  • Counting on fingers- The Kamba system of Kenya- explore and compare to how we use our fingers for counting

  • Body counting (link to money)- refer to The History of counting book. Body parts are used for numbers- children could be pointing to body parts to show how much something costs, their partner could be paying with beans or shells.

  • Symbols for numbers- Egyptian, Mayan or Chinese- could use pipe cleaner, lolly sticks, etc to make number lines

  • Names for numbers- learn to count in one other language – English, German, Spanish, Italian or Swahili of African origin ( use the story called Moja Means One- will be on Server ) Link to Ethiopia

  • Explore Gematria- Numbers and letters- ancient Romans, Greeks and Hebrews used letters to represent numbers. Explore turning words into numbers, work out the values of words, names, etc.

  • Keeping records- Incas of South America (link to Argentina) used quipu to keep account of people, livestock and products. Children could make their own quipu showing their birthday. Knots in string represent numbers. Strings hang off one main string/ stick. Top part of the string for hundreds, middle part for tens and bottom part of the string for ones.

  • Or make an abacus with beads / macaroni pasta if quipu is too tricky.

  • Flipcharts of quipu and abacus on the server.

  • Measures- How big? How small? Introduce Egyptian cubit (distance from the elbow to the fingertip) as a unit of measure. Children could make their own cubit, then compare, measure with, etc.  Introduce Roman measures- explore how long a foot is compared to their own foot.

  • Fox, Duck and Corn- a problem solving ancient puzzle originating from Africa – children could act out then draw the solution

  • The Oware game- also known as Mankala it is believed to be the oldest game in the world, originates from Africa. The game could be made with egg cartons and played with beans. Also on the internet!



  • Sort animals from around the world

  • Cooking – recipes from around the world

(if you decide to do pancakes there is a story called Mama Panya’s Pancakes )

  • Learn songs from around the world-

  • Games from around the world- hopscotch, marbles, circle games –games


Stories (on the maths shelf):

  • Moja Means One

  • Illustrated stories from around the world

  • The History of counting

  • Mama Panya’s pancakes