First
verse:
On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A
partridge in a pear tree.
Last verse
On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve lords aleaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids amilking,
Seven swans
aswimming,
Six geese alaying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling
birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a
pear tree!
There are 12 verses altogether.
This awesome version of the song by Pentatonix will make even Ebeneze Scrooge feel festive and join in the harmonies!
Here is an instrumental version to have playing quietly in the background while working on this Starter in the classroom.
Topics: Starter  Number  Xmas
You can find many more ChristMaths activities at:
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You can get a little help arriving at the answer by clicking on the play button below:
[Audio excerpt from Natalie Cole's version of the Twelve Days of Christmas]
Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops? This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments: Transum.org/go/?Start=December12 However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below. 

Here is the URL which will take
them to a student version of this activity.
Finally, just in case you have not yet spotted the connection with triangular numbers, have a look at this video from The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.