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
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?
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?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
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. . . .
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.
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.
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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. . . .
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
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.
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. . . .
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?
Three rods of different lengths form three sides of an enclosure
with right angles between them. What arrangement maximises the area
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
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?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Explore one of these five pictures.
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
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?
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!
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
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?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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.
If the base of a rectangle is increased by 10% and the area is
unchanged, by what percentage (exactly) is the width decreased by ?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?
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. . . .
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?
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).
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?
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 prove this formula for finding the area of a quadrilateral from its 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. . . .
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?