Why do this activity?
This activity provides a context for practising finding a small difference between two two-digit numbers. It encourages children to record their results, notice patterns and make predictions.
The children may need reminding about what it means to find the difference between numbers, and some strategies for doing this.
A possible starting point for the activity is using the same idea but with single digit numbers, perhaps starting with 7 and 9 on the bottom first. This is an opportunity to model how to find the difference and also how to write this difference into the circle on top.
As a class, you could explore other possibilities for having a difference of 2 starting with just single-digit numbers (1 and 3, 2 and 4 …) and as you collect the results in, they could be organised to enable the children to notice the patterns.
As children attempt the main task, they may explore different ways of having a difference of 5 (for example) within the twenties (21 and 26, 22 and 27 …) or across different tens (21 and 26, 31 and 36, 43 and 48). Encourage the children to record their work and spot patterns as in the introduction. This sheet of blank
may be useful.
Some children may move onto the extension task (below).
What is the difference between the numbers?
Do any other pairs of numbers have the same difference?
Can you spot a pattern?
: This time there are three numbers at the bottom of the pyramid (all with the same number of tens) but otherwise the pyramid is constructed in exactly the same way.
3 is the difference between 24 and 21.
5 is the difference between 21 and 26.
2 is the difference between 3 and 5.
Children could make some pyramids of their own. Here is a sheet of blank 'three tiered' pyramids
: Can learners find different pyramids with the same number at the top?
A 100 square or number line/track.