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Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.


Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that share their sides.

Little Boxes

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

World of Tan 9 - Animals

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

This activity follows on from World of Tan 8 - Sports Car.

Since the arrival of the ransom note, Mr Cheung had spent most of his time getting all the money together. A million Chinese yuan is a lot of money! His restaurant, like Granma T's removals, had not closed. Business went ahead as normal.

No police had been involved as the original letter had demanded.

Every night, a 'council of war' sat around the large office table at Granma T's. Mah Ling, Granma T, Little Ming and Little Fung would meet with Mr Cheung and his cousin, Yeung Lee. They would piece together all the information gained that day. So far they had worked out that the plaque was not on the main island in the bay, it had not been melted down and none of the local people knew anything about its disappearance. Yeung Lee was typing up a list of all the facts they knew so far - which was not much!

A second note from the 'criminals' was delivered a fortnight later, by post. It contained instructions on what to do. The money was to be packed in foil containers, that were to be sealed with wax lids and placed in the usual 'take away' carrier bag. At the top of this was to be placed a stack of white napkins.

That evening at sunset Little Ming was to walk into the local zoo. The instructions said, "Go past the goat pen and place the bag in the green rubbish bin by the giraffe house."

The money was packed and the napkins were placed on top as ordered. Little Ming had put on his raincoat and hat and set off...

In the meantime, complete the silhouettes of the camel and the giraffe.

Extra activities:

  • What conjunctions are used in the instructions given to Little Ming? Can you hide some treasure for a friend and give them a list of directions for how to find it?
  • Investigate the different ways there are of seating three boys and three girls around a circular table.

The story continues in World of Tan 10 - Butterflies.