The children received letters asking for help from the main character of ‘The Green Ship’. This prompted the children to get involved in a range of mathematics–based activities. For example they made some biscuits and used their knowledge of reading scales and weighing.
They investigated solving logic problems, which was new for them. For example the Green Ship had to help transport a fox, chicken and bag of grain across a river, none of which could be left together for fear that they would eat each other! The Green Ship could only take any two at a time. The problem prompted lots of discussions about the logistics of moving the items. The children worked in mixed ability pairs and used water and cubes to test out their ideas.
The teacher commented that even her lower ability children were able to solve the logic puzzle using hands on resources and pictorial images. This lesson remained a favourite of the children, and they went home and taught it to parents and siblings. The teacher has used more logic puzzles in mental and oral starters, following the project.
The text definitely lent itself to certain numeracy focuses, such as shape, measure and logic, but the teacher struggled to find ways to practice the four operations in a non-discrete way. Through this text the teacher also made links with Literacy, history, geography and art. The children produced a book of their work which reflected the creative links as well as their enthusiasm for the book.
'The children in my class embraced the project wholeheartedly and have since become ‘experts’ on the text and are able to fully explain all of their work'. Teacher.