Math + History:
How Much Is 'Four
Today's Snack: Eat 20 grapes, and sip a glass of milk in 20 sips.
Copy of the Gettysburg Address
from a reference book,
either printed out for
each child or
projected onto a big
Scratch paper and
There are many definitions of the word "score." One
of them is "a group or set of 20."
Referring to 20 of something as a "score" dates back
many centuries to the old Norse language. It is thought that Norwegian shepherds
counted their sheep in groups of 20, and made a mark or notch called a "skor"
on a stick to count a whole herd of sheep fairly quickly.
That grouping of 20 was Anglicized, or turned into
the English language, as the word "score."
One of the most famous uses of the word "score" in
that vein was the start of the most famous speech by probably the most beloved
American president, Abraham Lincoln.
He gave the Gettysburg Address at a Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa.,
in November 1863, and wanted to start off on a formal, serious note since so
many people had been killed.
So instead of saying that our nation
was founded 87 years before that date, he said "four score and seven years
If you multiply four times 20, you
get 80, and adding 7, you get 87 years. That's the correct answer for the date
on which he gave the speech, 1863, minus the date our nation was founded, 1776.
The Gettysburg Address is only 267
words long. Can you memorize it?
See if you can come up with the
answer to this problem:
3 score x 1 score =
Photography had just
been invented in 1863, when
Lincoln gave the
But because his speech
was so short,
the photographer didn't
have time to set up
his camera and get a
photo of the speech.
Therefore, all we have
are illustrations, like this one.