Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Roman Numeral Activities for Kids

Learning about Roman Numerals is a fun math enrichment lesson for kids.

Some places that you might see Roman Numerals are on clocks, watches, and older historic buildings.

In ancient Rome, some of our letters were used to represent numbers.

      l   =  1
     V  =  5
     X  =  10
     L  =  50
     C  =  100
     D  =  500
     M  = 1,000

With just the letters l, V, and X, students can write numbers 1 - 48.

The kids might like to practice writing the numbers with colored pencils, crayons, or markers. They could also use manipulatives. Toothpicks and Gummi Worms work well. Popsicle sticks and Twizzlers (candy) could also be used.

Reading and Writing Roman Numerals

When the letters are the same in a series add their value.
(No letter repeats more than 3 times.)
lll = l+l+l =3
XXX = X+X+X = 30

When a letter to the Right of a letter is of GREATER value, add the values of the letters.
Vl =6

When a letter is to the Left of a letter of GREATER value, subtract the values of the letters.
lX =9
lXX =19

1, 2, 3

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The kids might also enjoy making their own paper plate Roman Numeral clocks.

Have fun with math.


  1. Stopping by from Homeschooling on the Cheap! Love these ideas! My youngest hasn't started Roman Numerals yet, but these could be great ideas. Do you mind if I pin them?

  2. Love the toothpick idea. My daughter is 7 and this would be an easy way to practice in the kitchen while I'm making dinner--and she would think it was fun, not work.

    1. What a great idea and the perfect time! Very clever! Thanks!
      Marcia :)

    2. The toothpicks are great. What a fun, inexpensive manipulative idea! I'm working on a special lesson plan right now about number systems from around the world and I am definitely going to use this as an activity. Thanks!

    3. Thanks Jane..... Good luck with your lesson! :)

  3. What great ideas!! I remember our kitchen clock had Roman numerals on it and whenever I got mixed up when doing an outline I would go look at it. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you will share with us again this week!

  4. great,,, childern will like this method....:D

    i just want to share roman numeral web from other link..



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