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Prompt Cards

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.

Exploring Wild & Wonderful Number Patterns

EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.


Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other totals can you make?

1, 2, 3 Magic Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

1, 2, 3 Magic Square

Arrange three $1$s, three $2$s and three $3$s in this square so that every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.

three by three grid

You might like to use this interactivity to do this problem.

Full screen version:




You may like to try this with other sets of three consecutive numbers (numbers which come one after the other).


This problem has been adapted from the book "Numbers in Your Head" by John Spooner, published by BEAM Education. This book is out of print but can still be found on Amazon.

Why do this problem?

This problem requires only simple adding, but also persistence and logical thinking.

Key questions

What do one, two and three add to?
Which of the numbers, when multiplied by three, will come to the total you want in each of the rows?
What do three twos add to?
How many completely different solutions can you find?

Possible extension

Learners could try this activity with other sets of three consecutive numbers.

Possible support

Suggest using the interactivity or counters marked appropriately on a $3 \times 3$ square.