Home | KS2 Maths Lessons | Number (fractions) | Slithering Snakes

Number (fractions): Slithering Snakes

1 - Learning Objective

Challenge level ⭐⭐

(designed for children with prior knowledge of the Year 3 and Year 4 programme of study)

Learning Objective

We are learning how to solve a natural world problem by using and applying our skills and knowledge of number and fractions.

Useful prior knowledge:

  • To find and write both a unit fraction and a non-unit fraction of a discrete set of objects
  • To identify fractions that add up to a whole


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Credit: BBC Two - Cities: Nature's New Wild

Clip Description

Which animal can smell with its tongue, shed its skin and has hundreds of ribs? The answer – a snake of course! At the last count, there were 3,789 different species of this remarkable reptile. The longest snake in the world is the reticulated python. The longest reticulated python ever recorded was found in 1912 and measured a staggering 10 m. The shortest snake in the world is thought to be the Barbados thread snake, with fully-grown adults measuring little more than 10 cm.

In this fascinating clip, a reticulated python has found its way into a kitchen in the busy city of Bangkok. The snake is carefully removed by specially trained firefighters, who are able to release it back into the wild. How do you think the firefighters will capture the enormous serpent? Watch the clip to find out. 

Quick Whiteboard Challenge

How many 10 cm-long Barbados thread snakes, lined up head to tail, would be the same length as the longest reticulated python ever recorded?