The story of counting and writings

For schools and kids


Signals from space

Secret codes: cryptography, Morse code, A secret language, Kennings

HISTORY OF WRITING: Literacy, Writing media,
Origins of writing, How a writing system is developed, Mesopotamia, Egyptian hieroglyphs
The Alphabet
Chinese & Korean writing
The story of Cherokee writing
The Decipherment of old writings
Writing systems of the world
Magic messages

NUMBER SYSTEMS: Inca quipus, The magic of knots, Ogham writing
Primitive counting and body counting
Vigesimal and other not-ten-based systems
Dumb and clever computers
Arabic and Roman numerals
Concrete counting: Japanese object classes

The Maya number system

These pages tell about letters and numbers. It is about playing with alphabets and playing with counting. I wrote it for you who already know to read and write, but who still have more to learn about reading and writing. You have learned to write English in the Roman alphabet and to do math with Arabic numerals. Why are they called Roman and Arabic? Who invented them? Are there other ways of writing and counting? This book gives answers to those questions, and it introduces you to many secret and old writing systems and ways of counting.

You will easily find further reading and playing around with the characters on various internet sites. Some chapters are easier than the others: you can start with the secret codes, Morse code and secret languages, and then go to primitive counting. These tasks were originally used in a gifted and talented program for 3rd graders. The chapters about the history of writing and Chinese and Korean characters are perhaps the most difficult.

Finally, maybe, you invent your very own secret writing!