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To explore the idea that pupils, teachers and new pupils have a lot to find out about one another. To use a Carroll diagram to present information.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To explore the idea that pupils, teachers and new pupils have a lot to find out about one another. To use a Carroll diagram to present information.

Preparation and materials

  • A copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (optional).
  • 4 large pieces of white paper taped together.
  • 4 labels showing the words Brown, Blond, Girl, Boy.


  1. Ask the children if any have heard of someone called Lewis Carroll. Hopefully an older child will have read Alice in Wonderland and know that he was the author of the book. Spend a few minutes allowing the children to share what they know of the story.
  2. Say that Lewis Carroll lived during the reign of Queen Victoria and is well known as an author. But probably not many people know that he was also a lecturer in mathematics. He invented something called the Carroll Diagram. We are going to find out what this is and maybe we will discover that the older children have been using these diagrams already as they have gathered and sorted information in mathematics.
  3. Put the large pieces of white paper on the floor. To the left side of the squares place the labels Brown and Blond. At the foot of the squares place the labels Boy and Girl.

    Choose a class or group with the smallest number of children in it, or the reception class. Explain that you are going to sort this class by their sex and by their hair colour. Bring each child out one at a time and see if they can work out in which square they should stand.

    Ask the older children questions from the information on display. For example, how many boys have blond hair? How many more girls have brown hair than boys?
  4. Explain that as we start the new school year many children have moved into a new class with a new teacher. In some classes there are new pupils. Some classes may even have been joined in with another class. There is a lot to learn about one another!

    It is easy to be able to say what colour of hair we each have, whether we are tall or small, whether we are quiet or noisy. But there is so much we have yet to find out about one another, so many interests and talents that are developing in each of us.

    Very few people, including your teachers, perhaps knew that Lewis Carroll was not only a famous author but a famous mathematician.

Time for reflection


Lewis Carroll was good at writing stories and at mathematics.

Choose two things that you are good at. Maybe you could share these with your teacher when you go back to class.


Dear Father God,
Thank you that I am me!

Thank you that I am special, that there is no one else quite like me.

Thank you that you have made me in your image, which means that I am able to think and do and make and create and learn and enjoy.

Help me as I grow and change this school year, to become all that you made me to be.



‘God knows me’ (Come and Praise, 15)

‘Glad that I live am I’ (music available to purchase via

Publication date: October 2008   (Vol.10 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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