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Cuisenaire Rods

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Cuisenaire Rods

In this problem, we're going to make some squares out of Cuisenaire rods. unit rod, unit rod surrounded by square of four 2 rods, two 2 rods surrounded by square of four 3 rods, three 3 rods surrounded by square of four 4 rods, four 4 rods surrounded by square of four 5 rods
How would you describe what is happening as the pattern develops?
What will the next square look like?
What colour rod will be in the centre?
How many dark green (next colour) ones will be needed?
The next four colours are black, brown, blue, orange.
Can you describe this pattern in full?
Can you generalise the situation?
If you don't have any Cuisenaire rods, you might like to use our Cuisenaire environment to have a go at this problem.

Why do this problem?

This problem encourages children to make conjuctures and generalisations, and it may lead into discussions about square numbers.

Possible extension

Children could create their own pattern, perhaps based on rectangles, and then make similar conjectures and generalisations.

Possible support

Learners could use some Cuisenaire rods to have a go at this problem or the Cuisenaire environment. Alternatively, drawing rods on squared paper might help.