Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building
blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Can you choose your units so that a cube has the same numerical value for it volume, surface area and total edge length?
Four quadrants are drawn centred at the vertices of a square . Find
the area of the central region bounded by the four arcs.
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.
Straight lines are drawn from each corner of a square to the mid
points of the opposite sides. Express the area of the octagon that
is formed at the centre as a fraction of the area of the square.
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?
Three rods of different lengths form three sides of an enclosure
with right angles between them. What arrangement maximises the area
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
Analyse these beautiful biological images and attempt to rank them in size order.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Explore one of these five pictures.
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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
If the base of a rectangle is increased by 10% and the area is
unchanged, by what percentage (exactly) is the width decreased by ?
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. . . .
If I print this page which shape will require the more yellow ink?
Can you prove this formula for finding the area of a quadrilateral from its diagonals?
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
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!
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?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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.
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
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 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.
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Three squares are drawn on the sides of a triangle ABC. Their areas
are respectively 18 000, 20 000 and 26 000 square centimetres. If
the outer vertices of the squares are joined, three more. . . .
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?
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
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. . . .
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
Can you draw the height-time chart as this complicated vessel fills
Imagine different shaped vessels being filled. Can you work out
what the graphs of the water level should look like?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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?
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 fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?