The Work Plan

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Counting Rope

 This activity was inspired by the book Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault. This is a wonderful story about a relationship with an Indian grandfather and his grandson named Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses who is blind. The grandson ask his grandfather to repeat his life story how he was born, and how he won his first horse race. The grandfather ties a knot everytime he tells the story. The grandfather tells the grandson that when the rope is filled you will know the story by heart and can tell it to yourself.

                                                    The cover of the book.
                                                                The Counting Rope

 I made a rope with five knots. I added numbered cards if the child wishes to use the rope to make a number line. The aim of this rope is to count using one to one correspondence.

Here is the five knot rope and a nine knot rope. The nine knot rope can be used to sequence the sandpaper numbers from one to nine.

This is DJ completing the nine rope extension activity. You do this blindfolded with the sandpaper numbers.

What I liked about this extension activity is that DJ was able to show empathy to Boy-Strength-of -Blue- Horses. DJ said " Being blind isn't easy, he is smart to still know all that stuff'".  If you want to know what all that stuff is that DJ is talking about you have to read the book. I am linking this post to Math Monday hosted by Joyful Learner.                            


  1. That book looks way too cool!

  2. I own that book but never got around to reading it. Now, it's a must! The sequencing/knotting rope idea is a great way to learn to tell stories and even learn how to read. I remember one reading program used that method but used different colored paper squares to help the child remember the story sequence.

    As for the link, click on your the title of the post you want to link (eg. The Counting Rope), then go to the url window that starts with http. Copy and past the link to the math links. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful activity!

    I love what DJ said also!

  3. I love this, what a cool extension! Thanks!

  4. I like how you tied in (no pun intended) the book with the activities. I especially liked the blindfold with the sandpaper letters. Wonderful.

  5. For some reason, your link to the post didn't go through properly. Do you mind checking it to see that it's linked to this post and not the blog? Thanks!

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