An introduction to the historical use of shells and beans for buying and selling. Roman and Tudor coins are then introduced before moving on to our present day decimal coinage. The presenter shows each coin and note, and explains how many pennies they are equivalent to and how inconvenient it would be to carry around large numbers of pennies. He finishes by showing a £50 note next to its equivalent of 5,000 pennies.
What do the children know about maths in the past? Can they name any apparatus which might have been used - what’s the sign language for it? Make and create a variety of objects which you know the different sign language actions for and give each object a value eg shell = 17. The job is to trade the shell with their partner for another item which is equal to that. (More than one item might need to be combined). Can the children then write the algebraic term to depict the actions they have just done?