Copyright © University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.
'Newspapers' printed from http://nrich.maths.org/
Why do this problem?
Use this activity
to present youngsters with a problem that challenges them to think 'outside the box'. It can help to develop general problem solving strategies and find suitable ways of recoding their results.
This presents a good opportunity to hand over to the pupils the decision as to how to approach this challenge.
This activity allows the youngsters to create good ways of recording what they have done and communicate their findings to a whole class by producing a display. It may end up as an assessment for patience and perseverence!
When pupils have made decisions then ask, "Are you allowed to do that?"
Do you think there are any more possibilities?
Some children could be asked what they could do about changing one of the rules, but beware of going further than using three sheets of paper i.e. 12 pages! You can also challenge them to look at methods of progressing so as to make sure that they get all the possible combinations.
For more extension work
For those very able pupils we would expect them to pursue the three sheet of the paper making $12$ pages. They might be encouraged to explore methods of ensuring that all the combinations are found. This could lead to a method for n numbers of sheets.
For those who struggle with the whole idea it would be good to have the sheets of paper ready so that they can rearrange them physically.
I found that a group of children who were 8 and 9 years old coped with this very enthusiastically. They got a lot out of it and were very creative with their ideas.
Even if all the combinations are not found by your class we'd be pleased to hear how it went and what aspects of the activity caught their interest and which did not.