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Cover the Camel

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Cover the Camel

Can you cover the camel with pieces shaped like this?

pieceflipped over tile

Click and drag on one of the pieces to move it onto the camel. You can use the arrow buttons to turn the piece around.

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Please let us know how you completed the camel and send in pictures of him/her completely covered!

A practical version of this activity is included in one of the Brain Buster Maths Boxes which contains hands-on challenges developed by members of NRICH and produced by BEAM. For more details and ordering information, please scroll down this page .

Why do this problem?

This problem is a lovely context in which children can develop their ability to visualise. Visualisation is required in two ways. Firstly, children must plan ahead so as not to leave impossible spaces. Secondly, they must try to turn each piece in their ''mind's eye'' to decide which is needed for a particular gap.

Possible approach

If you would like children to work on this problem practically, you can print out these photocopiable sheets. The image of the camel is on the first sheet and the ten pieces to fit into it on the second sheet.

Key questions

Where might be a good place to start?
Is there anywhere else you can put a piece straight-away?
If you put that piece there, will you be able to fit another one in easily?
Have you tried turning the piece round?
Have you tried turning the piece over so it's the other way up?
Have you got any spaces that you can't fill?
Have you counted the number of squares in the gap?

Possible extension

Learners could make their own designs on squared paper using these shapes or try this similar problem, Tessellate the Triominoes.

Possible support

Sometimes the most surprising children have difficulties with this type of visual problem.

Suggest working on it practically using these sheets which have the camel picture on the first sheet and the ten pieces to fit into it on the second sheet. It might help to print out the second sheet on coloured paper which will emphasise the spaces.