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"Bunga Manggar" • MOE Kindergartens


Thinking of using local content to teach Numeracy? How can you design learning centres to support children’s learning through play?

Find out in this lesson idea how you can use the Bunga Manggar seen in Malay weddings to help children understand the part-whole concept in Numeracy. Children will have opportunities to explore TWO learning areas through an integrated approach in this learning experience.

Learning Areas

Learning Goals

Language and Literacy (L&L)

LG2: Speak to convey meaning and communicate with others

Numeracy (NUM)

LG2: Use numbers in daily experiences

Learning objectives:

Children will be given opportunities to:

1.    Talk about a Malay wedding based on their observations from photographs

2.    Name parts that form the whole in a quantity (e.g. 2 and 3 make 5)

#1 Using local content as context for learning

Using local content helps to make learning relevant to children as they learn about things they observe and experience in their daily lives.


1.    Find a stimulus that can be found commonly in Singapore.

For example:
Children are learning about Singapore as part of the theme “Who are the people and what are the places around me?” Show them stalks of “Bunga Manggar”.


Bunga Manggar in different colours

2.    Encourage the children to talk about the stimulus.

For example:

Get the children to touch and feel the “Bunga Manggar”. Invite them to talk about where they have seen them or what they are used for. Use pictures of Malay weddings that feature the “Bunga Manggar” to facilitate the discussion.


Children sharing what they know about Malay weddings and the Bunga Munggar

#2 Using the CPA approach to teach Numeracy

As numeracy concepts are abstract, using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach helps children move in sequence through and build connections between the phases of concrete, pictorial and abstract. 


For example, the CPA approach can be used to teach part-whole relationships.

1.    Concrete phase involves using real objects for children to touch and move.

In pairs, have the children create their own “Bunga Manggar” using materials such as pipe cleaners in two colours, plasticine and a straw. Get the children to choose pipe cleaners of different colours to make combinations of 5. 

Creating Bunga Manggar using pipe cleaners in two colours to make combinations of 5

2.    Pictorial phase involves using pictures or visual representations of the concrete materials (e.g. dots and tallies) where children can touch but not move the items.


Get the children to show the “Bunga Manggar” they have created. Record the different combinations of 5 by pasting pieces of pipe cleaner on activity strips.  

Using activity strips to record the different combinations of 5

3.    Abstract phase involves using symbols such as numerals to represent the pictures/dots.

Arrange the activity strips in sequence and write in the numerals. Describe the part-whole relationship by stating the whole followed by the parts that make the whole. For example, “There are 5 pipe cleaners. 4 are blue and 1 is yellow.” This will help the children understand the different combinations that make 5.


Arranging the activity strips in sequence to help children understand the different combinations that make 5

#3 Facilitating children’s learning through play

Create games and set up learning centres for children to practise and reinforce what they have learnt. This allows them to consolidate their learning while having fun!


For example, the following activities can be used to provide opportunities for children to consolidate what they have learnt about part-whole relationships and the Malay culture through play.

a. Toss and Record!

This game can be played individually. Provide each child with 5 dual-coloured chips (e.g. red on one side and yellow on the other), a tray and an activity sheet.  Get the children to toss their chips in the tray and arrange them according to the colour they land on (e.g. red chips followed by yellow chips in a row). Have them record the combinations of 5 on the activity sheet and write the corresponding numerals

Using activity sheets is one way of getting children to record their responses and practise writing numerals. 


Using games such as “Toss and Record” to consolidate concept of part-whole relationships

b. Let's make 5!

This game can be played in pairs. Provide each pair with counters (e.g. bread tags or bear counters) in two different colours and a paper plate. Child A chooses a number of counters (not more than 5) and places them on the paper plate. Child B then places the correct number of counters on the paper plate to make 5.  

c. Let's Pretend!

Provide accessories and props (e.g., clothes, kompang and Bunga Manggar) for the children to role play a Malay wedding.


Children drawing on what they have learnt through role play