You may also like

Classifying Solids Using Angle Deficiency

Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry

Paper Folding - Models of the Platonic Solids

A description of how to make the five Platonic solids out of paper.

The Solid

A task which depends on members of the group working collaboratively to reach a single goal.


Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

This is one of a series of problems designed to develop learners' team working skills. Other tasks in the series can be found by going to this article.
Solids image

What are you aiming to do?

For the task:

The team has to make the two solids that match the information on their cards without showing each team member's information to anyone else.

As a team:

  • Allowing everyone to contribute
  • Listening
  • Asking questions and finding out what others think
  • Sharing knowledge and reasoning
  • Reflecting and making use of what has been said
  • Coming to a consensus

Getting started

You will be working in a team of four. Ensure that you have plenty of cubes. Their colour does not matter but it may be less distracting to have all the cubes of the same colour. You cannot use paper or pencil to help you because you need to listen to what others have to say.

Discuss how you will work together and share your ideas.

Put the 8 cards face down in the centre of the table.

Tackling the problem

Each member of the team takes a card from the pile in turn (two cards each) without the others seeing what is on them.


  • Team members cannot show their cards to anyone else on the team.
  • A team member can describe what is on their card.
  • Team members can ask questions to help them make sense of what is on their card, or on someone else's card.
  • The task is complete when everyone agrees that the two solids they have made use all the information, and match everything that is on their cards.
If you have an observer, they might find the following list of things to look for helpful and feed back to the team at the end of the task.
  • Check that no one reveals their cards or writes anything down.
  • Identify points where team members share knowledge and reasoning and listen to each other.
  • Identify points where team members make decisions together.
  • Note whether all members of the team are involved.