The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
What shapes can you make by folding an A4 piece of paper?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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?
Have you noticed that triangles are used in manmade structures? Perhaps there is a good reason for this? 'Test a Triangle' and see how rigid triangles are.
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?
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?
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
Can you recreate this Indian screen pattern? Can you make up similar patterns of your own?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
This practical activity involves measuring length/distance.
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an octagon in a square.
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?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
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?
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 ruling 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 fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
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 Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
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.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every day in the run-up to Christmas.
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain why are they called pyramid numbers?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
What shape and size of drinks mat is best for flipping and catching?
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.