Where am I? ? Position in Space
About the Where am I? ? Position in Space Lesson
An introduction to the concept of mathematics having its own language followed by the use of positional words. Activities that follow include a treasure hunt where one group follows the directions given by another to a well-hidden treasure.
• The children will be able to use positional language to describe the relative position of objects.
• The children will be able to use language confidently to give and to follow directions.
We all speak English. Some of us have friends who speak French, or Spanish, or maybe German. But did you know that mathematics has its own special language? Some of the language we use in math consists of numbers, and some of symbols, like %, +, -, =. However, a lot of the time the language used in math consists of words we use everyday. When we use them for math, though, they have a much more precise meaning. For example, if you divide a cake among three friends, you make sure each gets more or less the same amount, but if you divide something three ways mathematically each section will be exactly the same. Words like divide, multiply and subtract are all operational words and belong to the language of math.
Today we are going to explore some other everyday words which are used in mathematics. These are called positional words. Positional words describe where an object is or in which direction it is, or should be, moving. Here are some examples of positional words: The dog is under the table; the bird is in the cage; turn left at the next crossing; go around the tree; drive through the tunnel. Can you think of any others?