Stories and the world of numbers

Deepa Kiran

‘A friend is one whose story you don’t know’, goes an old saying. Stories are a medium for ‘coming together’ – be it people, ideas, organizations, or even nations. Stories can strengthen the bond between two entities and open our hearts to receive and to give.

numbers The arts can trigger creativity and imagination and offer interesting possibilities for ‘how to think’. Problem-solving is all about finding creative solutions so if we are fostering and building the child’s creativity, we are in fact steering them to think, visualize, and problem solve. These are the qualities one looks to develop to become independent learners.

We often believe that subjects like science and mathematics which are based on logic and rationale must be taught in a logical manner. That is not always true. These subjects can be made much more interesting through stories and storyi-zing. The stories can become a motivation for the learner.

There are a number of stories based on mathematics which can regale our listeners and can be later used to draw them into the world of mathematics, into the world of numbers and logic. The listener who fears the subject might unknowingly become curious about it.

Once upon a time
When monkeys chewed lime
There lived a lonely little number called Zero. Nobody wanted to be friends with Zero. Everybody teased Zero all the time. “You are nothing. You are nothing. Ai yai yo. You are nothing.” Zero felt very sad and lonely because nobody wanted to play with her or be her friend. She sat down in a corner and started to cry. The Sun was watching all of this. He said to Zero. “Hey! Yes, you Zero. Don’t feel so sad. You look like me. Nice and round. Wait and watch what happens.”

The author is a storyteller, educationist, writer and voice-over artist. She holds storytelling performances and conducts training workshops for teachers on the art of storytelling. She is also the founder of Story Arts India ( She can be reached at You can also visit her facebook page storyartsindiaofficial or view her storytelling videos on YouTube.

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