What shape is the overlap when you slide one of these shapes half
way across another? Can you picture it in your head? Use the
interactivity to check your visualisation.
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will have holes drilled through them?
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping
Eight children each had a cube made from modelling clay. They cut
them into four pieces which were all exactly the same shape and
size. Whose pieces are the same? Can you decide who made each set?
A game for two players on a large squared space.
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged
and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.
Move four sticks so there are exactly four triangles.
Find a way to cut a 4 by 4 square into only two pieces, then rejoin the two pieces to make an L shape 6 units high.
A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
Imagine a 4 by 4 by 4 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will not have holes drilled through them?
How many balls of modelling clay and how many straws does it take
to make these skeleton shapes?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made of 9 small cubes. Each face of the large cube is painted a different colour. How many small cubes will have two painted faces? Where are they?
How many loops of string have been used to make these patterns?
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
How many pieces of string have been used in these patterns? Can you
describe how you know?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged
L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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?
Here are shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made
Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop pupils'
mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on
“visualising” and is designed to meet the needs. . . .
Can you arrange the shapes in a chain so that each one shares a
face (or faces) that are the same shape as the one that follows it?
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different
triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces.
Can you see which pieces go together?
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
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 these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of
Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times
would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
This second article in the series refers to research about levels
of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?