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“Was the ark bigger than the Titanic?”

‘Was the ark bigger than the Titanic?’ We’d just heard the story of Noah’s Ark and I had invited the Primary one class to ask any questions they had. This was not a question I’d been asked before, but what a great question! I responded that I didn’t know and immediately a class discussion started on what we all thought and how we could find out. We’d moved from RME to numeracy and found ourselves with opportunities for measuring and talking about length, width and depth.

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The teacher was delighted and we made a plan, I would share with them the size of the ark (The Bible tells us it was 300 cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high), the wee boy who asked the question would find out the size of the Titanic and they’d go out onto the school field with trundle wheels to measure out the size of the boats.

There are lots of possibilities to link from Bible stories to Numeracy (and vice versa!) Staying with the story of Noah’s ark you could practice counting in twos as the animals go onto the ark. The Creation story is great for early years children who can practice counting to seven and learn about the days of the week. There’s a sling shot in the story of David and Goliath, could you make your own and then spend some time measuring and recording how far you can sling a small ball? Learning that Goliath is a 9-foot-tall giant creates more opportunities for measuring and comparing. I’m often asked, ‘would Goliath fit in our classroom?’ When you’re learning about money, whether you’re identifying coins, learning to budget or any of the skills in-between, you could link your RME by exploring the story of the Prodigal Son. The younger son spends all his inheritance, could you do a better job at budgeting than him? The story of Jesus feeding the 5000 is a great way into talking about sharing or multiplying or dividing and leftovers.

These are just some of the opportunities Bible stories provide to link RME and Numeracy. There are lots more! The Must Know Bible Stories resources highlight possible connections for you, you’ll find ideas in the Introduction documents, ideas in the early years mind maps and even more ideas in the ‘Extend the learning’ sections of the Story Trails.

Oh...and in case you were wondering, Titanic was bigger than the ark!