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Guide and features
Guide and features
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Featured Early Years Foundation Stage; US Kindergarten
Featured UK Key Stage 1&2; US Grades 1-4
Featured UK Key Stage 3-5; US Grades 5-12
Featured UK Key Stage 1, US Grade 1 & 2
Featured UK Key Stage 2; US Grade 3 & 4
Featured UK Key Stages 3 & 4; US Grade 5-10
Featured UK Key Stage 4 & 5; US Grade 11 & 12
Why do this problem?
is designed to get children talking about sameness and difference in the context of size and shape. It is a good chance for them to bring familiar words into the mathematics classroom and refine them as appropriate.
You could start with all the group sitting on the carpet and introduce the problem as it is on the computer. This very simple
is designed to be used by you, rather than individual children, so that two of the clown's faces can be easily compared by putting them into the "boxes".
It is often more difficult to point out things that have not changed and you might need to ask questions to prompt the children. You could ask them to count some features on the clowns' faces, for example. It is likely that children will use comparative words such as larger, bigger, smaller, wider, narrower, higher, shorter ... They might talk about some of the faces looking as if they have been stretched. Depending on the children's experience, you can encourage them to be as specific as you think appropriate.
After this introduction, the group could work in pairs on the problem so that they are able to talk with a partner.
of the clowns' faces can be printed out and possibly laminated, and this black and white
of the clowns' faces can be photocopied.
of 16 words related to the problem might also be useful. The children could be challenged to draw some houses (or anything else you or they might choose!) which are big and small, wide and narrow, low and high, the same and different.
At the end of the lesson the group could show and talk about any pictures they have drawn. You could also use the interactivity again to reinforce any vocabulary the children have learnt and used.
Can you say anything about the size of the clowns' faces?
What do you notice about the clowns' eyes?
What can you tell me about their hair/noses/mouths?
Tell me about the pictures you have drawn.
What is the difference between this picture and this picture?
Learners who found this problem straightforward could try this drawing problem,
You could use
and encourage the child to talk about the differences.
Direct & inverse proportion
Meet the team
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice. More information on many of our other activities can be found here.
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Millennium Mathematics Project