Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
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.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
A circle with the radius of 2.2 centimetres is drawn touching the sides of a square. What area of the square is NOT covered by the circle?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Explore one of these five pictures.
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.
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?
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.
What is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.
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.
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
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
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?
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.
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
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 find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
In the four examples below identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
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?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of
different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and
those which centre on calculation.
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?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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
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. . . .
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
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. . . .
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
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. . . .
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).
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 smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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.
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
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
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. . . .