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Making Maths: Making a Tangram

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World of Tan 22 - An Appealing Stroll

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This activity follows on from World of Tan 21 - Almost There Now.

Little Ming and Little Fung are slowly walking home from school. The new term is only a few days old and already the children are getting back to their old ways...

Little Ming: Why does a school day feel so much longer than a day over the weekend?

Little Fung: It depends whether or not you're enjoying yourself.

Little Ming: Well I spent all morning measuring things, who could get excited by that?

Little Fung: I'm more interested in things that can't be measured in obvious ways.

Little Ming: How do you mean?

Little Fung: Well, we can measure length, height and width...

Little Ming: As well as mass, volume and temperature...

Little Fung: I know, and there's also time, angles and capacity! You and I can measure most things and we can read most measuring instruments. It's all the things we don't have instruments for that I want to find out about.

Little Ming: How do you mean?

Little Fung: Well how do you measure how clever someone is?

Little Ming: How do you measure stubborness?

Little Fung: You've got it!

Little Ming: I suppose you can measure strength or weakness?

Little Fung: Yep, just as you can measure speed and acceleration or density.

Little Ming: Can you measure different degrees of wetness?

Little Fung: I'm not sure. I know when I am damp, and I know when I am soaking wet...

Little Ming: Yes... Last night was fun, but we shouldn't have cooled down by standing in the fountain - someone will have seen us and they will tell Granma T!

Little Fung: Come one, let's stop dawdling - it's almost dinner time, we need to get a move on!

In the meantime, complete the silhouette of Little Ming carrying his backpack and dawdling on his way home from school.

Extra activities:

  • List some of the things that you can measure and the different instruments that you can measure them with.
  • What can't you measure? Why?

The story continues in World of Tan 23 - Transform This Into That.