Why do this problem?
encourages the development of team-building skills such as sharing
reasoning, allowing everyone to contribute and valuing those
contributions, and coming to a consensus. 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
addition learners are expected to use precision in describing an
arrangement of objects.
The problem is described
in terms of up to 12 triangles of four colours. However, if
learners have never worked on this sort of problem before it is
best to choose no more than eight triangles and two colours.
- You will need a screen or cloth to hide the designer's
arrangement. (See ** below)
- If you do not have any triangles to hand, here is a sheet of
triangles which you can print onto coloured car.
Arrange learners in
groups of four or five (fiveallows one to act as an
You may wish to ask teams
to record their questions before asking them. Then, as part of
their review of the task, the team can discuss what may have been a
more efficient set of questions to ask.
Cards for each role:
- The rule cards for questioning can be printed from
- The role card for designers can be found
- The role card for observers can be found
When teams have finished
working on the task it is important that they spend time discussing
in groups, and then as a whole class, how well they worked as a
team, what they have learned from the experience and what they
would do differently next time. Your own observations, as well as
those of observers might inform the discussions.
**You may prefer to
prepare some images of an arrangement first to hand out to
designers. Designers then answer the team questions, making a note
of the number of questions asked. The team records each question
before asking it. When the groups have finished you might discuss
the number of questions used and ask the team with the fewest
questions to share their ideas with the rest of the group.
- What things did you hear someone else say that you found really
- How well did you listen to others in your group?
- How easy was it to come to an agreement about the questions to
- Did everyone always agree and what did you do if you did
Increase the number of
triangles and the colours available.
Learners may like to try
one of the other 'All for one' tasks. Other skill-building tasks
can be found by going to this article
Reduce the number of
triangles and colours available. Make a list of the allowed
questions, such as:
- How many triangles are there?
- How many red/yellow/green/blue triangles are there
- Is the triangle to the left of the yellow triangle blue?
- Is the triangle above the blue triangle green?
- Is the horizontal side of the red triangle at the