Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The
frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a
jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions
of. . . .
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret
the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will
be produced using different wheels?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is
the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove
the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many
times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP
: PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED.
What is the area of the triangle PQR?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
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.
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
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?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided
into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Anne completes a circuit around a circular track in 40 seconds.
Brenda runs in the opposite direction and meets Anne every 15
seconds. How long does it take Brenda to run around the track?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its
area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post.
There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can
tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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 this problem, we have created a pattern from smaller and smaller
squares. If we carried on the pattern forever, what proportion of
the image would be coloured blue?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences
between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so
that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved
around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try. . . .
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface
area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you
find them all?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
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.
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged
L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.