The Twelve Days of Christmas

How many gifts did my true love send to me altogether?

HollyFirst verse:
n the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

Last verse
n the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve lords a-leaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

There are 12 verses altogether.



Topics: Starter | Number | Xmas

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  • You may need to give the pupils a little help if they are having difficulty. Can you sing? Well if singing is out of the question the song could be recited as a poem. Once pupils start making a list of the total number of presents each day they will see the pattern of triangular numbers emerge. Could they generalise this to find the number of presents received on the nth day? More advanced students might consider finding the formula for the sum of the series!

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You can get a little help arriving at the answer by clicking on the play button below:

[Audio excerpt from Natalie Cole's version of the Twelve Days of Christmas]

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