Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up
with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring
instrument. Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute
You will need a long strip of paper for this task. Cut it into different lengths. How could you find out how long each piece is?
This practical activity involves measuring length/distance.
Can you put these shapes in order of size? Start with the smallest.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of
the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other
shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame
without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you
try the other shapes?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an
octagon in a square.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Have you ever noticed the patterns in car wheel trims? These
questions will make you look at car wheels in a different way!
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and
We can cut a small triangle off the corner of a square and then fit
the two pieces together. Can you work out how these shapes are made
from the two pieces?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you recreate this Indian screen pattern? Can you make up
similar patterns of your own?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
Watch this "Notes on a Triangle" film. Can you recreate parts of the film using cut-out triangles?
This problem focuses on Dienes' Logiblocs. What is the same and
what is different about these pairs of shapes? Can you describe the
shapes in the picture?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Have a go at drawing these stars which use six points drawn around
a circle. Perhaps you can create your own designs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what
you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
Kimie and Sebastian were making sticks from interlocking cubes and lining them up. Can they make their lines the same length? Can they make any other lines?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
Can you see which tile is the odd one out in this design? Using the
basic tile, can you make a repeating pattern to decorate our wall?
Kaia is sure that her father has worn a particular tie twice a week
in at least five of the last ten weeks, but her father disagrees.
Who do you think is right?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?
This is a simple paper-folding activity that gives an intriguing result which you can then investigate further.
The class were playing a maths game using interlocking cubes. Can you help them record what happened?
Watch the video to see how to fold a square of paper to create a flower. What fraction of the piece of paper is the small triangle?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.