A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it
does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a
chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the
area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red
dashed. . . .
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
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?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the
squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the
button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle
now. . . .
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
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
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
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.
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?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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.
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
This article for teachers gives some food for thought when teaching
ideas about area.
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!
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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?
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.
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you
help William to work out its area?
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
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?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Explore one of these five pictures.
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.
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.
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
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?
Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular
window is a wonderful example.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
At the corner of the cube circular arcs are drawn and the area enclosed shaded. What fraction of the surface area of the cube is shaded? Try working out the answer without recourse to pencil and. . . .
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.