An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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. . . .
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
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.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
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?
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.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled
triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting
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?
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
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?
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?
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. . . .
Explore one of these five pictures.
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.
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
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 shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its
area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover
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?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
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?
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).
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
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?
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. . . .
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
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
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area
around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.