Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?
My measurements have got all jumbled up! Swap them around and see
if you can find a combination where every measurement is valid.
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the
half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could
investigate your own starting shape.
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame
without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you
try the other shapes?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you
help William to work out its area?
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
This article for teachers gives some food for thought when teaching
ideas about area.
Have a good look at these images. Can you describe what is happening? There are plenty more images like this on NRICH's Exploring Squares CD.
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is,
satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in
a circle with a unit radius?
Follow the instructions and you can take a rectangle, cut it into 4 pieces, discard two small triangles, put together the remaining two pieces and end up with a rectangle the same size. Try it!
A hallway floor is tiled and each tile is one foot square. Given
that the number of tiles around the perimeter is EXACTLY half the
total number of tiles, find the possible dimensions of the hallway.
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Nine squares with side lengths 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 18 cm can be fitted together to form a rectangle. What are the dimensions of the rectangle?
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?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter
(p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship
between p, i and the area of the polygons.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
How can you change the area of a shape but keep its perimeter the same? How can you change the perimeter but keep the area the same?
Explore one of these five pictures.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it
does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
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?
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular
window is a wonderful example.
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
You have a 12 by 9 foot carpet with an 8 by 1 foot hole exactly in
the middle. Cut the carpet into two pieces to make a 10 by 10 foot
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
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
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?