In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
What shapes can you make by folding an A4 piece of paper?
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a
parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
Did you know mazes tell stories? Find out more about mazes and make
one of your own.
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?
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?
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?
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?
This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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.
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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?
You could use just coloured pencils and paper to create this
design, but it will be more eye-catching if you can get hold of
hammer, nails and string.
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you
work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall
and work out a way they might fit together?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
If you'd like to know more about Primary Maths Masterclasses, this
is the package to read! Find out about current groups in your
region or how to set up your own.
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?
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 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 outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
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?
Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
The triangle ABC is equilateral. The arc AB has centre C, the arc
BC has centre A and the arc CA has centre B. Explain how and why
this shape can roll along between two parallel tracks.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that
MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
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?
Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an
octagon in a square.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
This is a simple paper-folding activity that gives an intriguing result which you can then investigate further.