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Late Again

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Late Again

Here is a picture of Moira's school which has a paved playground at the front:
Moira's schoolyard
If Moira was sitting on the bench nearest the school gate, to get to the climbing frame she could:
Go forward $2$ squares to the pond.
Turn to the right and go $1$ square forward.
Turn to the left and go $2$ squares forward.

This morning, Moira is late for school.
What is the shortest route she can take from the school gate to the school door?
Is there more than one way she could go?


Why do this problem?

This problem introduces children to the language involved in describing position and direction. It could be done in a practical context and adapted to suit your playground.
It would be useful to project the plan onto a screen for the children to see and you could give pairs a copy of it on paper.  This sheet contains two plans.

Key questions

Which direction might you go in first?
Try and describe any route.
Can you make it shorter?
How will you know which routes you have tried?

Possible extension

Children could be encouraged to make a plan of their own playground and set each other challenges.

Possible support

Having a paper copy of the plan will help children get started. Encourage them to work with a partner.