The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
If I print this page which shape will require the more yellow ink?
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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.
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
A trapezium is divided into four triangles by its diagonals.
Suppose the two triangles containing the parallel sides have areas
a and b, what is the area of the trapezium?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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?
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?
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.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
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.
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
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?
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
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.
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
A farmer has a field which is the shape of a trapezium as
illustrated below. To increase his profits he wishes to grow two
different crops. To do this he would like to divide the field into
two. . . .
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
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
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.
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
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?
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?
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Explore one of these five pictures.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Can you choose your units so that a cube has the same numerical value for it volume, surface area and total edge length?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
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?
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB
and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q
such that APCQ is a rhombus.
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!
Three rods of different lengths form three sides of an enclosure
with right angles between them. What arrangement maximises the area
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
If the base of a rectangle is increased by 10% and the area is
unchanged, by what percentage (exactly) is the width decreased by ?
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 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
Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral
triangles drawn on an isometric grid?
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
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. . . .