The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about the relationship between them?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
Investigate the different shaped bracelets you could make from 18 different spherical beads. How do they compare if you use 24 beads?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds so find out which we might have bought.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start with?
Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the number 2000.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?
In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in one shop, where would be the cheapest?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?
Explore one of these five pictures.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds seem to visit randomly?