# World of Tan 15 - Millennia

## Problem

This activity follows on from World of TanĀ 14 - Celebrations.

The visitors, Leone and Leo, had long since departed. Yet fond memories of them remained. They had been warmly welcomed, and everyone had enjoyed their stay. The children had been introduced to a wide range of new foods, finding that they did actually like most of them. They had enjoyed their trip to the old city and were amazed at all the people who lived in the houseboats down by the river. The hustle and bustle of all the people going backwards and forwards to work had never failed to amaze them. Where did they all go? What did they all do?

There had been many different sights, sounds and smells for the children to take in while they were staying. Yet one cultural difference has caused the most interest. It is this that the workers are discussing as they busily package up some leaflets to take to be photocopied.

**Chi Wing:** I couldn't persuade Leo and Leone that the millennium started in 2001.

**Wu Ming:** No, neither could I. Why do they believe that the millennium started back with the year 2000? The first millenium started in the year 1AD, not the year 0!

**Wai Ping:** Did you notice how they said the date? Two thousand and one!

**Wu Ming:** I thought that was clever of you to spot the way they say the date. Eighteen-oh-one, nineteen-oh-one, but two thousand and one.

**Chi Wing:** Yes, but we say each digit separately and then we can use 'nian' to show that it's a year. It does save us a lot of bother.

**Wu Ming:** We certainly confused the visitors when we said that we celebrated our New Year sometime in January or February - depending on the moon.

**Wai Ping:** Yep, and next year we shall celebrate the Year of the Snake, and none of us are getting any younger.

**Chi Wing:** True...

In the meantime, complete the outlines of the numbers.

Extra activities:

- Research Chinese New Year - when does this take place? How is it celebrated?
- Why do most countries celebrate the new year on January 1st? Can you find out some facts about the history of the calendar that we use today?
- When do you think each millenium started? Why?

## Teachers' Resources

### Why do this problem?

This problem is an engaging context in which pupils can consolidate their knowledge of the properties of squares, triangles and parallelograms. By attempting this activity, children will be putting into practise their visualising skills, making guesses about where the different shapes might go before trying out their ideas. When combining the shapes to make the tangram, pupils will use their understanding of translations, reflections and rotations to decide how to transform each shape. There are also links between tangrams and fractions, and children can be encouraged to work out what fraction of the whole square is represented by each smaller shape.### Possible approach

Read this story with the whole class and look at the tangram as a group. Ask pupils to suggest where a shape might go. What transformation would be needed to move the shape into that position?When pupils are solving the tangram, they would benefit from working in pairs with a tablet or a printed copy of the shapes to cut out and move around. Working together will lead to rich discussions about the possible options for where each shape can go. When the children have solved the tangram, they can have a go at the extra activities.

At the end of the lesson, bring all of the pupils together and model the solution on the whiteboard. How does each shape need to be transformed? What fraction of the whole picture is each shape?

### Key questions

What could you put with this piece to make a square?Are all of the pieces different?

What's the smallest square you can make?

What has to go in that space? How do you know?