Math Story : Counting In Tens And Ones

Uncle Science And His Farm

To reward the kids for their bravery and goodness, Uncle Math decides to take them out on a picnic to a beautiful farm. “It is going to be my first farm visit, and I am very excited. Thank you, Uncle Math”, says Cirho. The kids are looking forward to the visit.  

As they enter, they see a cow, goat, and a lot of carrots and tomatoes. Somewhere far, they also spot Uncle Science working on the farms.

“Hello! Uncle Science”, everybody greets him. Uncle Science is Uncle Math’s friend. Seeing the kids and meeting his friend after a long time, he is elated.

“Want to have some fun? I need to pick vegetables and arrange them in the baskets so that the vegetable sellers can easily sell them. Will you help me, children?” asks Uncle Science. “Definitely!” say the kids in unison.

They quickly pick good carrots, and tomatoes and get them near the storeroom to pack in the baskets. 

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 “Let us first pack tomatoes. We need to put 8 tomatoes in each basket“, says Uncle Science. Following his instructions, Cirha counts loudly, “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and my first basket is done!” The kids are enjoying this. Uncle Math is observing them.

 “Good job kids! Now we need to pack 15 carrots in each basket”, says Uncle Science. Kids follow his instructions again. Cirho decides to go first. “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11…12,13…… 14 and 15. Finally, one carrot basket is ready. Phew! It took quite long isn’t it?” he says.

 “Yes! This is too time taking. Surely, there must be a faster way to pack these. Uncle Math can you help us?” asks Cirha.

“Of course, I will help you. Children, when you were packing 8 tomatoes, the process was easy and quick because 8 is a small number. But, as the numbers increase, this method of counting one item at a time is tedious. Right? To reduce this time, I have a trick”, explains Uncle Math.

Uncle Math makes a group of ten carrots and keeps three carrots beside the group.“How many carrots did I take?” he questions. “13”, replies Triho immediately. “Perfect! How did you count so fast?” he asks.  “Because you grouped 10 carrots and kept 3 carrots separately, I could quickly count them”, explains Triho.

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Seeing Triho being so quick at counting, Uncle Science is impressed. ”Amazing! Triho”, he appreciates him. “This shows that number 13 has 1 group of ten and 3 ones”, explains Uncle Math.

Similarly, if I want 15 carrots, I will make one group of 10 and 5 ones”, says Uncle Math.

Using the tomatoes, Uncle Math and the kids find the group of tens and ones in numbers from 11 – 20.

“Amazing. Finding tens and ones upto number 19 was fun. But what about number 20?” asks Cirho.

“Oh, Cirho! This is so simple! So number 20 has 1 group of tens and 10 of ones. Correct Uncle Math?” says Cirha. “Yes, you are right. But this can be simplified as number 20 has 2 groups of tens and 0 ones as 10 ones together form one group of 10”, explains Uncle Math.

Uncle Science likes the way all the kids have been working. To test them, he asks, “How many groups of tens will number 8 have?” Squarho gets excited and says, “1 group of ten.”  Is he right?

 No, Squarho is incorrect. “The number 8 will not have any groups of tens as it can be made only using eight ones”, answers Cirha. Uncle Science appreciates her and clears the confusion of other kids.

Using tens and ones, they pack the baskets faster now. “Phew! All the baskets are packed now! You saved so much of my time. Thank you, kids”, says Uncle Science.  Everybody is glad they could offer some help. Now it is time to head back home.

“My first farm visit, an adventurous day of counting and packing so many baskets! I thoroughly enjoyed it!” says Cirho. Everybody agrees with him. “Alright! Then let me give you a bigger number to count in tens and ones then”, says Uncle Math to prank Cirho. “No!” he screams. Everybody bursts into laughter.


We Learnt That…

  • To count bigger numbers quickly, we can easily group them into tens and ones.  (For example, 14 is made of one group of tens and four ones.)
  • Sometimes it is important to think differently to find quick solutions.

Let’s Discuss

  • What animals and vegetables were there on the farm?
  • Who was working on the farm?
  • What was the quick method suggested by Uncle Math to count vegetables?
  • When we felt the method was time taking, we questioned Uncle Math and Uncle Science. Is it right to question your teachers/ elders? Does questioning help us? How?

Experience the immersive video version of this captivating story by clicking the link below, and let the excitement come to life :


Please refer this guide by Fun2Do Labs for teaching place value to kids :