This problem can help pupils extend their spatial understanding related to number sense. It can be used to acquaint pupils with the attributes of the cuisenaire rods.
A time to play with the rods if pupils are not used to using them would be essential. If you do not have access to the rods then pupils could have some time with the general cuisenaire environment to be found here. The challenge could begin my working on the pink rod ideas altogether and having some clear discussion as to why the two examples shown
lower down although using the same rods are counted as different.
The pupils can then work indiviually or in groups to tackle the other questions.
Do you think there are any more to find?
Are any of yours the same? (Good to ask both when there is and is not a slip-up in their examples)
Tell me about how you found these.
Suggest other different coloured pairs of rods that could be tested to see if they can be put together to equal the largest of the rods.
Two bigger rods can be put together for a much longer length for the pupils to try to work on using pairs of different rods (see here below)