Maths at the Mela – fun sums at a fair, a maths storybook

maths storybookMaths at the Mela, a maths storybook, involves a class trip to the local fair provides lots of opportunities for “skip-counting” and for practical problem solving for consolidating dividing skills in twos, threes, and fours. This book makes a fun maths lesson for early grades, and helps develop early skills of relating words in a story or problem to numerical skills. Young children will also love all the fair-ground rides.

A Mela is a Hindu sanskrit word for a gathering, usually referring to a fair. The school trip involves a giant wheel (Ferris wheel), a merry-go round, train rides, and a class count to ensure everyone is on the bus.

Author: Kavitha Mandana Illustrator: Nirzara Verulkar

Maths at the Mela was brought to us by Pratham’s Storyweaver platform, aiming to ensure every child has enough to read.

Sample text from Maths at the Mela – maths storybook


Leelu is at the mela with the students of Standard 4. All 36 of them! Sir says, “Those who want to go on the toy train raise your hands.” Everyone shouts, “Me, sir… me!”

Sir starts counting the hands.
Before he can get to 36, the toy train gets full. It gives a loud toot of the whistle and takes off. Standard 4 has to wait for the next round.

Next, it is time to go on the giant wheel. Each swinging box of the wheel has two seats. Leelu sees that a single ticket is for two people.

Before Sir starts counting one by one, Leelu quickly counts her class in twos:
“2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14… 36.”
The ticket collector asks, “How many tickets?” Leelu answers, “18.”

At the merry-go-round, each horse has three seats.

Bittu wants to show the class how clever he is. So he begins counting in threes.
“3, 6, 9… 36!”
Sir asks, “How many horses do we need?” Bittu proudly says, “12.”

It is the end of the day. They are all tired. Sir wants to make sure all 36 children are safely back in the bus. This time, Didu wants to count. She notices that each row in the bus has four seats. So she counts loudly in fours.

“4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32… ” She stops just before saying ’36’.
“Sir, two kids seem to be missing and are not in the bus!” she gasps.
The bus driver, Didu and Sir count the sleeping class again. Who could be missing?

“Aaaah! Come, see… here is one missing fellow,” the driver says from the back of the bus.
On the last row is Montu, fast asleep and snoring!

But that only adds up to 35 children.
Just as Sir steps out to search for the missing child,
Didu shouts, “Sir, come back please… we found her!”

“Who is this naughty girl?” Sir asks.

Didu points at herself.
“Me, Sir. I had forgotten to count myself!”

Number fun

You don’t have to go to a mela to count in twos, threes or fours. All around us
are chances to count in sets.
Count the number of feet in your classroom,
by counting in twos!

<End of text from Maths at the Mela>

Download or readonline the full version of Maths at the Mela, for a fun Maths storybook and some great exercises and enjoy the beautiful colourful illustrations with this book by selecting the buttons below the post, free here at FKB.

Exercise suggestions for skip counting

Count the number of legs of chairs and tables in your house or classroom.

Work out how many cars you would need to take your whole class on a trip, with three to a car or four to a car.

If a cake is cut in 5 rows with 4 pieces each, how many pieces are there? What about if the cake is only cut into 3 pieces each?

Play “buzz” where you need to say “buzz” on multiples of 3, 4, and 5, etc.

About Pratham, Read India

Pratham Books was set up in 2004, as part of the Read India movement, a nation-wide campaign to promote reading among children. Pratham Books is a not-for-profit organization that publishes quality books for children in multiple Indian languages.
Pratham’s mission is to see “a book in every child’s hand” and democratize the joy of reading.

Pratham’s books are available now in digital form on the Storyweaver platform.

More maths storybooks and maths exercise books like this can be found in our FKB Maths category.

More books by Pratham’s Storyweaver


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