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San Joaquin Delta College
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Basic Skills Mathematics Program
Multicultural Mathematics Lessons
African Mende Addition

This lesson describes a method of addition used by the Mende people of West Africa. The method uses counting and expansion to build toward the idea of addition.

Egyptian Multiplication
  This lesson describes a method of multiplication used by the ancient Egyptians. The method of multiplication is such that it is only necessary to add and to multiply by twos - memorization of multiplication tables is unnecessary.
Babylonian Square Roots
  This lesson describes a method for finding square roots used by the Babylonian people of Mesopotamia. The method involves dividing and averaging, over and over, to find a more accurate solution with each repeat of the process.
Islamic Inheritance Mathematics
  This lesson describes how a woman'e estate is divided among her beneficiaries according to Islamic inheritance law. The method involves adding and subtracting fractions which represent the parts of the woman's estate, keeping in mind that sons receive twice as much as daughters, and a stranger's share must be paid first.
Chinese Fraction Reducing
  This lesson describes a method for reducing fractions used by the Chinese people as early as the first century AD. The method involves finding a common divisor, then reducing the fraction by that divisor.

Click on the links for the multicultural mathematics lessons.  All lessons are appropriate for a prealgebra curriculum and can be adjusted to meet the needs of the students.

Created by Patricia Donovan



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