You know all about Numeria, and all the friends we’ve met there: Adam Add, Minnie Minus, Marcus Multiply, and Donovan Divide…and Pipkin, and our two Kings.
Well, the castle where the two kings live is enormous. There are endless rooms to discover, and one day while the two kings were having fun opening doors and finding new places in the castle to play they came upon a room that had one gigantic throne in it.
The throne was covered with the most beautiful carvings, and jewels, and carved upon it were the words: Behold, the Emperor of Numeria!
The Kings looked at each other and thought, “Emperor? I thought we were the highest officials of Numeria.” So, they asked their good friend Adam Add who said, “There is an ancient tale that tells us that there is someone who has more control of Numeria than the kings...someone who uses our land like a tool, and controls every adventure, and every creature living in it.”
“Well,” said the kings “we must find this Emperor and bring them to this throne.
They searched high and low all over Numeria. Can you recall some places and creatures we’ve visited along the way? (the children then name and recall the adventures and concepts learned this year, and as it turns out, none of the characters they name have any information about the Emperor. The last character named is the one that knows the secret)
(the final character reveals this) The secret is this: “Oh, yes. There is an Emperor, and Empress of Numeria. They have been with us this whole time. They have watched us when the two friends entered each numbered gate leading to Numeria, and when those two friends became kings they celebrated. They watched us as Adam Add put things together, and when Minnie Minus started losing things out of the rip in her bag. They saw everything as the alligator’s enormous appetite allowed him to gobble up all the things in our land that were greater, and saw Pipkin bundle up things endlessly in groups of ten and make new groups of ten. They watched it all, and are here with us right now.”
The kings looked alarmed. “What do you mean they are here right now? Where?”
“They are sitting and looking at us right there” he said while pointing “…right outside this chalkboard... It is they who have control of all of Numeria, and can use all the creatures and characters in it like a tool.”
It took a second for them to get it, but I pointed my finger at them and said, “There they are, the Emperors and Empresses of Numeria”….and this is where the kid’s minds were blown, they exclaimed, “No way!”, they applauded, they cheered, and we had to calm down.
Then I said, “I’m a teacher who teaches through story. All of the characters that have helped us this year you may not see next year, so I want you to remember them fondly, and keep their adventures close to your heart as you move on to second grade.”
So, this was our last math story…clearly some of the ideas may or may not have been lifted from the Never Ending Story, but that’s what you come up with when your brain is preoccupied with report cards, and end of year stuff.