Why do this problem?
provides a great environment in which to discuss the meaning of words related to position, for example touching, overlapping (some children have added "underlapping"), inside and outside.
You may decide to use real rings (perhaps wooden or plastic), or you could ask children to make some rings as part of the task, maybe out of pipe cleaners.
You could introduce the task in a large space outside, or in the school hall, using P.E. hoops, for example. You could lay out two hoops and ask the children to describe what they see. By asking a child to place two hoops in a different way, and talking about this as well, you will begin to build up useful vocabulary. You can then set children off on investigating other ways. You may need to
address how they are keeping track of the different combinations - perhaps they could draw each, or there may be enough equipment to keep each one once it is made.
As a plenary, you could invite a pair of children to describe an arrangement and encourage everyone else to try to draw or make it.
What could you do if one of your rings was bigger/smaller?
How would you describe the two rings?
Questions could well arise in a discussion about these sets of two pairs, for example, and whether any are the same or different, and why.
Take the pupils onto the activity 3 Rings.