Draw three straight lines to separate these shapes into four groups
- each group must contain one of each shape.
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a
parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
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
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!
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?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
A group activity using visualisation of squares and triangles.
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?
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?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk
held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
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?
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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 fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?
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?
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. . . .
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?
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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 these people?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
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 Fung at the table?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
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 the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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 ...
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?