Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
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).
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?
Given a square ABCD of sides 10 cm, and using the corners as
centres, construct four quadrants with radius 10 cm each inside the
square. The four arcs intersect at P, Q, R and S. Find the. . . .
Six circular discs are packed in different-shaped boxes so that the
discs touch their neighbours and the sides of the box. Can you put
the boxes in order according to the areas of their bases?
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 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. . . .
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?
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. . . .
Draw two circles, each of radius 1 unit, so that each circle goes
through the centre of the other one. What is the area of the
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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.
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. . . .
Explore one of these five pictures.
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
Four quadrants are drawn centred at the vertices of a square . Find
the area of the central region bounded by the four arcs.
What is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.
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. . . .
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Triangle ABC is right angled at A and semi circles are drawn on all three sides producing two 'crescents'. Show that the sum of the areas of the two crescents equals the area of triangle ABC.
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
ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.
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.
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find
the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the
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.
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship
between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on
AB as diameter?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
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!
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.
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
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
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
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
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Prove that the area of a quadrilateral is given by half the product of the lengths of the diagonals multiplied by the sine of the angle between the diagonals.
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a
pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which
can be rearranged into another square.
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
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. . . .
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. . . .
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?