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Use the interactivity to make this Islamic star and cross design. Can you produce a tessellation of regular octagons with two different types of triangle?

Overlapping Circles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Overlapping Circles


What shaped overlaps can you make with two same-sized circles?

What shapes are 'left over'?

Overlapping Circles

What shapes can you make when the circles are different sizes?

What happens when you use more than two circles?

Using circles cut from tissue paper will make the overlap easy to see.

They also look good displayed on the window against the light because the overlap comes out a different colour.

Asking pupils to move the circles over one another gradually will help them to see the possibilities clearly.

As names of shapes are not required, this activity provides a chance to encourage careful description using appropriate language.

This is a good opportunity to talk about the symmetry of circles too.