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7.2

Understanding ‘many’ and ‘few’


Why is this important?
These kinds of concepts can be tricky to learn, because there is no fixed
quantity associated with them (e.g. a ‘few’ leaves on a tree may relate to a
hundred leaves, whereas a ‘few’ biscuits left on a plate may only be three).
These concepts/words are abstract – they can’t be seen or touched in the
same way as a concrete object like a fork can.

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What to do
• Draw a scene on a big piece of paper or photocopy one out of a book (e.g. a
playground/park/classroom/street/ room of house).
• Think of things that belong in the scene (e.g. if your scene is the park,
you might include trees, ducks, swings, flowers, children, bikes).
• Create cards to depict ‘many’ and ‘few’ of each of the objects (e.g. ‘many’
trees on one piece of card and a ‘few’ trees on another).
• Put out the scene with the two matching objects and ask the child to:
★ ‘Put many trees in the park.’
• Can the child choose the correct picture and place it on the big picture?
• Continue presenting extra cards as you would in a matching game, putting
‘many’ with ‘many’ and ‘few’ with ‘few’. N.B. You could use Blu-Tack to
stick the smaller pictures on.
• Do the same for the other pairs of objects (e.g. ‘many’/’few’ ducks).

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