Being Curious - Primary

Being Curious - Primary is part of our Developing Mathematical Habits of Mind Primary collection.  You can see the full collection by scrolling down to the bottom of the Primary Curriculum page.

Good thinkers are curious and ask good questions. They are excited by new ideas and are keen to explore and investigate them. 

How do we encourage our learners to become more curious mathematicians?

These problems will exploit learners' natural curiosity and provoke them to ask good mathematical questions. Additionally you may find that they support the development of other problem-solving skills and mathematical habits of mind, which you could choose to highlight as and when they arise.

You can browse through the Number, Measures, Geometry or Statistics collections, or scroll down to see the full set of problems below.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Curious - Primary Number

Number problems for inquiring primary learners.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Curious - Primary Measures

Measure problems for inquiring primary learners.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Curious - Primary Geometry

Geometry problems for inquiring primary learners.

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Being Curious - Primary Statistics

Statistics problems for inquiring primary learners.

Five Steps to 50

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Use five steps to count forwards or backwards in 1s or 10s to get to 50. What strategies did you use?

Chain of Changes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Arrange the shapes in a line so that you change either colour or shape in the next piece along. Can you find several ways to start with a blue triangle and end with a red circle?

Ring a Ring of Numbers

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.

Little Man

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

The Man is much smaller than us. Can you use the picture of him next to a mug to estimate his height and how much tea he drinks?

More Numbers in the Ring

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

If there are 3 squares in the ring, can you place three different numbers in them so that their differences are odd? Try with different numbers of squares around the ring. What do you notice?

Number Detective

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Follow the clues to find the mystery number.

Shaping It

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.

If the World Were a Village

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

This activity is based on data in the book 'If the World Were a Village'. How will you represent your chosen data for maximum effect?

Brush Loads

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

Number Differences

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?

Three Neighbours

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?

Two Clocks

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These clocks have only one hand, but can you work out what time they are showing from the information?

Curious Number

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?