There are many versions of the story about the order of animals in the Chinese zodiac. They all involve a race with the order of the zodiac animals being chosen according to the order in which the animals finished the race.
This is a problem solving activity for groups of 3 or 4 children, or it can be used as a class/group activity with younger children to encourage discussion, reasoning, logical thinking and use of mathematical language.
The 14 clue cards have all the information needed to solve the problem. Cut out the cards and share them between the children in the group.
Ask children to:
- read the cards;
- find the card that tells them what to do (Find the order of the animals)
- organise the cards – which ones are most useful to start? which have redundant information?
Work through the information. Use the numeral cards and picture cards to help.
Use children themselves and the animal masks from www.primarytreasurechest.com to solve the problem. Read the clues and children can move around to find the right order.
Encourage children to check their solution by reading through the clues again.