World of Tan 26 - Old Chestnut

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This activity follows on from World of Tan 25 - Pentominoes
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Granma T: Oh dear! First day back from school and the children are arguing already!


Little Fung: It can be done!

Little Ming: No it can't. We showed you that at the end of the lesson, can't you remember?

GT: Why all this noise? Is there no homework to do? If not ..OUT into the yard there is much to do there! Help the men tidy away.

LF: Not that old chestnut again!

GT: Pardon?

LM: Little Fung asked about old chestnuts?

LF: That's right. Just what are they? What does it mean?

GT: Out, finish off out there - we can talk about this later!

LM: That's cool!

GT: Pardon? Whatever does that mean?

(...and out into the yard the children go to help whoever is there. Meanwhile back in the office...)

GT: Little Fung is getting cheeky. And that is so out of character.

Mai Ling: Sign of the times, Granma T, I am afraid to say.

GT: But things are getting better - we are more prosperous, there is nothing we go without...

ML: It is not like the old days and all the uncertainties of yesteryear.

GT: Whatever was all that nonsense about 'old chestnuts'?

ML: I'mnot sure but I feel certain that over your meal tonight you will be cross questioned, as the children do like to know and are not afraid to ask.

GT: Yes, but that is good. And I know they ask a lot of questions at school - which is very good. The teachers must be wearied by my two alone!

ML: When I was at school no - one was allowed to speak unless spoken to.

GT: Times - they arechanging, Mai Ling. Even the lessons that the children do are so different from what you or I did as children. It is much more interesting, much more demanding. There is so much to make them think for themselves.

ML: Certainly the problems the children bring home keep all of us here busy every now and again.

GT: You are right - I wonder what it will be tonight?

ML: It might be something about language? All that fuss about old chestnuts...

GT: It is the ones to do with mathematics that cause me the most problems.

ML: Well, there are enough problem solvers here except ....

(...Mai Ling's words are drowned out by the children coming back in...)

Little Fung: It can be done!

Little Ming: No it can't. Don't you ever learn?

GT: And so on and on we go till suppertime .......CHILDREN...........

in the meantime, complete the silhouette of a brazier used to roast chestnuts.

Can you resolve Little Ming and Little Fung's argument? Here is their diagram:


There are more activities in the notes . The story continues in World of Tan 27 - Sharing .