In this activity, students are exposed to three different systems of tally marks used in various parts of the world. Students learn the "why" behind tally marks by exploring the different ways that tally marks are used.
The activity consists of four parts. In part one, students use the tally mark systems to generate a given number. In the second part, students must look at a number constructed using tally marks and deduce its identity. In part three, students create and identify their own number using the three different tally systems. Finally, in part four, students create their own system of tally marks and create two problems for peers to solve.
This task is a great way to get students thinking about the different ways that counting and math are used around the world.