This year for Scottish Book 2015 Week the library at Taylor High celebrated the week by running a maths puzzle with some of our S1 pupils. The puzzle was inspired by ‘The Young James Bond Series’, particularly ‘Shoot to Kill’ by Steve Cole and the idea was taken from ‘Brain-Busting Puzzles Series’ by Sarah Khan.
Pupils were put into groups of five and we discussed as a group why James Bond had inspired something Scottish. This got us all talking about the film franchise and why this series might have been chosen. Only one pupil was able answer what the connection was. Of course, it was the fact that his father was Scottish and therefore that was our Scottish connection.
An S6 pupil kindly volunteered to read a chapter from the book, giving some of our S1 a chance to explore a book that they might not ordinarily read. It was great to have one of their peers reading aloud and helped set the scene.
The S6 pupils stated “I enjoyed the activity and it was great to read to younger pupils and share a book that they may not have thought about reading before. However, you need to be brave, it can be quite daunting reading aloud to a class.”
Pupils were asked to pretend they were a Secret Agent trying to find a pattern of numbers and letters that would tell them what city in the world their mission would be in. Pupils were asked to find a pattern of six numbers that appeared three times. For some pupils, looking for six numbers proved rather challenging and so, pupils were asked to find just two of the numbers. It was amazing, as soon as, pupils had to look for only two numbers the quicker they found the code for six.
Once pupils found the pattern of numbers, they then had to find the letters that were attached to the numbers to discover the city. The letters were all jumbled but pupils were given a sheet that had a mix of possible cities across the world and soon discovered the answer was Berlin.
The next part of the task involved using their geographic skills, as pupils were that asked to name the country that the city was in and about their flags. (For me, the real challenging area of the activity was naming the flag colours!)
To round the activity off, each table was asked to name their group, which included ‘The Book Lovers’ and ‘The Big Ones’.
This really was a great cross-curricular activity, as it involved numeracy, reading, language and geography skills. It gave pupils an opportunity to explore literature and the world of maths further. It also promotes the values of Curriculum for Excellence, particularly confident individuals and successful learners.
Well done to all the S1s who took part and my maths colleagues who took the time to be involved. It really was great fun and pupils work is now being displayed.