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?
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 maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
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!
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. . . .
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).
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
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?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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.
What is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
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
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
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
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.
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Explore one of these five pictures.
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
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. . . .
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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
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?
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?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
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?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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.
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. . . .
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
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
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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
How efficiently can you pack together disks?