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?
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem,
but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
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
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?
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.
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.
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
Three rods of different lengths form three sides of an enclosure
with right angles between them. What arrangement maximises the area
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?
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. . . .
Four quadrants are drawn centred at the vertices of a square . Find
the area of the central region bounded by the four arcs.
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two
people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and
diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
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.
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Explore one of these five pictures.
Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Analyse these beautiful biological images and attempt to rank them in size order.
Imagine different shaped vessels being filled. Can you work out
what the graphs of the water level should look like?
Can you draw the height-time chart as this complicated vessel fills
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!
What is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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 ?
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.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
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?
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 are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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
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.
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. . . .
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
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 find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral
triangles drawn on an isometric grid?
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. . . .
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
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. . . .
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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. . . .