This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
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?
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?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular
intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
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. . . .
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two
different distances between them?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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 these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
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?
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and
allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into
water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the
surface. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form
a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is
the maximum area of the kite?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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.
ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start.
How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
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.