Skip over navigation
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 1-5
Featured UK Key Stage 3-5; US Grades 6-12
Featured UK Key Stage 1, US Grade 1 & 2
Featured UK Key Stage 2; US Grade 3-5
Featured UK Key Stages 3 & 4; US Grade 6-10
Featured UK Key Stage 4 & 5; US Grade 11 & 12
You may also like
Flip Your Mat!
What shape and size of drinks mat is best for flipping and catching?
Stage: 1 and 2
These pictures were made quite simply by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. This creates a smaller shape (which also happens to be a square) inside the original. The half-way points of this new shape are then joined up to make a third shape. This way of making new shapes is continued until it gets too small to do properly.
You can, of course, start with any straight-lined shape.
Here's one where I've coloured each new halving line to help to see what has happened more clearly.
So, it's your turn to have a go.
It's probably good to start with a fairly large shape since it's going to get smaller and smaller each time.
Here are some challenges for you to pursue:
Having made a design like one above, cut out the triangles and the smallest inner shape and rearrange the pieces to form a new shape/design.
Talk about and record the things you notice as you have drawn more and more halving lines.
What is happening to the enclosed area each time the sides are halved? (Try investigating a regular shape first.)
This problem is based on an idea suggested by Ian Short.
Addition & subtraction
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.
Register for our mailing list
Copyright © 1997 - 2014. University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.
NRICH is part of the family of activities in the
Millennium Mathematics Project