Roman numerals have fascinated us all from the time we first learnt about them in school. On Friday, 4th April and Monday 7th April, 2014, both sections of class III was initiated into the history and practical use of the symbolic representations that gave us our present Roman numerals. Moreover children learnt writing the Roman Numerals through a fun hands-on learning activity.
For those of us who have forgotten, the numeric system used in ancient Rome employed a combinations of letters from the Latin Alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X. However, what is interesting is the system of using descending strokes and tallies that led to this symbolic representation of the numbers. The children were told about this system of using tallies, notches and marks and how it evolved in the modern day representation of the number values, used as the Roman Numerals today.
In the hands on activity conducted in the classes, the students were provided with A4 sheets, toothpicks and matchsticks and were told to form the Roman Numerals I to X on the given sheet of paper, using either the matchsticks or the toothpicks provided.
Arranging the matchsticks helped them understand and associate the number value with the numeral. The children found the activity very interesting and were successful in learning by doing.
Later, the students’ worksheets found their place on the students’ corner of the classroom soft board panel, for their classmates to admire, refer and remember.