This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces. Can you see which pieces go together?
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?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
A toy has a regular tetrahedron, a cube and a base with triangular
and square hollows. If you fit a shape into the correct hollow a
bell rings. How many times does the bell ring in a complete game?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
You want to make each of the 5 Platonic solids and colour the faces
so that, in every case, no two faces which meet along an edge have
the same colour.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
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 ...
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 this shape. How would you describe it?
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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
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. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
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 visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1
foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door
into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
On which of these shapes can you trace a path along all of its
edges, without going over any edge twice?
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?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
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?
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?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares.
Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
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 Little Ming?
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?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
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!
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a
parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!