Arrange the shapes in a line so that you change either colour or
shape in the next piece along. Can you find several ways to start
with a blue triangle and end with a red circle?
The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you
rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them
or put one outside another?
This activity challenges you to make collections of shapes. Can you
give your collection a name?
We've been collecting pictures!
What do you think they are pictures of?
Which of these pictures have curves in them?
Can you see any circles?
Can you see any spirals?
Are there any pictures that don't have any curves at all?
You could send us your ideas or photos of other circles and spirals you have found.
Click on the images to make them bigger.
This problem provides lovely opportunities for mathematical talk. Children benefit from opportunities to describe the mathematical shapes they see around them in order to become more sophisticated in their language and descriptions. These images have been chosen to develop their understanding of curves, moving from informal language such as
straight, curved, wavy towards more mathematical language about circles and spirals. Talking, prompted by appropriate questioning, will encourage children to observe the images carefully and identify what is important about them. The sophistication of the mathematical language used can be developed as far as the children can manage.
If you have an interactive white board you can display the images (which can be enlarged by clicking on them individually). Alternatively you could download this PowerPoint and if you need paper copies print them from
Can you see a curve in this one? Where?
What's the difference between a circle and a spiral?
Can you find any other circles/spirals around us?
Children could take photographs of curves they notice in their surroundings, and these could be used to start an interactive display. Make more durable versions of the images so that they can be used for sorting activities.
Those children who have developed fine motor skills could be challenged to make a spiral, using apparatus such as that in Cuisenaire spirals or even to draw an Archimedian spiral.