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Math + History:

How Much Is 'Four Score'?

 

Today's Snack: Eat 20 grapes, and sip a glass of milk in 20 sips.

 

 

--------------------

 

Supplies:

Copy of the Gettysburg Address

from a reference book,

either printed out for each child or

projected onto a big screen

Scratch paper and pencil

 

 

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 ago."

 

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.

 

1863

-- 1776

87

 

 

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 =

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Answer: 1,200)

 

 

 

abraham lincoln

 

Photography had just been invented in 1863, when

Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

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.

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Math 2010

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