An idea that's on the money

2nd March 2007 at 00:00
Are you worth your weight in gold? To your school you definitely are, but just how much are you really worth?

You might be worth more than multimillionaires such as Richard Branson, Alan Sugar or Philip Green. No, really.

Did you know that Bill Gates is worth just pound;87? Well, he is when we assign each letter of the alphabet with a monetary value so that A = pound;1, B = pound;2 and so on.

Children can find how much they are worth and, using the names of famous people, work out the value of their names to see who is worth more.

This is a fun activity which has all sorts of spin-offs and adaptations.

Take football, for instance. You could ask your pupils to subtract John Terry from Wayne Rooney then add the total to Steven Gerrard. New values could be created. For example, all vowels might be worth 99p and all consonants worth pound;1.50. Descenders and ascenders could be given values while some letters might be deemed worthless.

Weekly spelling lists could be transformed. Pupils could work out the value of each spelling and they earn that amount for every one they get right.

It's an opportunity to milk maths

John Dabell is a numeracy consultant and teacher trainer

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