A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
A tower of squares is built inside a right angled isosceles
triangle. The largest square stands on the hypotenuse. What
fraction of the area of the triangle is covered by the series of
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?
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
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it
does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?
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.
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
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
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
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?
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you
help William to work out its area?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
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
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!
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
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).
Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular
window is a wonderful example.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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.
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
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?
Bluey-green, white and transparent squares with a few odd bits of
shapes around the perimeter. But, how many squares are there of
each type in the complete circle? Study the picture and make. . . .