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.
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?
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?
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. . . .
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!
Imagine different shaped vessels being filled. Can you work out what the graphs of the water level should look like?
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 prove this formula for finding the area of a quadrilateral from its diagonals?
If the base of a rectangle is increased by 10% and the area is
unchanged, by what percentage (exactly) is the width decreased by ?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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.
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Three rods of different lengths form three sides of an enclosure
with right angles between them. What arrangement maximises the area
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?
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.
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
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?
Can you choose your units so that a cube has the same numerical value for it volume, surface area and total edge length?
If I print this page which shape will require the more yellow ink?
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
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem,
but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
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.
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.
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. . . .
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 have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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. . . .
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
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 same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
A white cross is placed symmetrically in a red disc with the central square of side length sqrt 2 and the arms of the cross of length 1 unit. What is the area of the disc still showing?
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
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. . . .
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?
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
Can you draw the height-time chart as this complicated vessel fills
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.
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?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
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. . . .
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
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
Explore one of these five pictures.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.