The Semiotic Resources Children Use in Their Explanations of Hypothetical Situations

  • Elena SeverinaEmail author
  • Tamsin Meaney


The aim of the study is to describe the semiotic resources that children used in mathematical explanations of hypothetical situations. The empirical material consists of a short video from a Norwegian kindergarten, where four 5-year-old children and a kindergarten student teacher discuss real and imaginary page layouts of a photo book. When explaining their reasoning about the amount of photographs in the layouts, the children used oral language, gestures and physical objects like number charts. The use of these resources in different kinds of explanations is discussed. Our results suggest that by using a range of semiotic resources, children are able to provide explanations of hypothetical situations using mathematical ideas at a younger age than previously suggested.


Semiotic resources Explanations Hypothetical situations Imaginary objects Gestures 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Norway University of Applied SciencesBergenNorway

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