Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular
window is a wonderful example.
You have pitched your tent (the red triangle) on an island. Can you
move it to the position shown by the purple triangle making sure
you obey the rules?
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you
help William to work out its 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.
This article for teachers gives some food for thought when teaching
ideas about area.
Read about David Hilbert who proved that any polygon could be cut up into a certain number of pieces that could be put back together to form any other polygon of equal area.
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
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. . . .
Explore one of these five pictures.
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different
ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
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?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
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
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?
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
Investigate the different ways of cutting a perfectly circular pie into equal pieces using exactly 3 cuts. The cuts have to be along chords of the circle (which might be diameters).
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.
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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.
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!
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
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Prove that a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 6 has the same area as a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 8. Find other pairs of non-congruent isosceles triangles which have equal areas.
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
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?
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
This rectangle is cut into five pieces which fit exactly into a triangular outline and also into a square outline where the triangle, the rectangle and the square have equal areas.