Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular
window is a wonderful example.
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you
help William to work out its area?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
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.
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.
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?
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
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. . . .
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Measure problems at primary level that may require determination.
Measure problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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.
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
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
Measure problems for primary learners to work on with others.
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?
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?
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Explore one of these five pictures.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about
the relationship between them?
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?
Measure problems for inquiring primary learners.
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?
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
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
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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
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!
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What
would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
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.