What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover this area?
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to wrap it so that it is completely covered.
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
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?
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected into?
This rectangle is cut into five pieces which fit exactly into a triangular outline and also into a square outline where the triangle, the rectangle and the square have equal areas.
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions of. . . .
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
This article for teachers gives some food for thought when teaching ideas about area.
Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular window is a wonderful example.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of area.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Nine squares with side lengths 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 18 cm can be fitted together to form a rectangle. What are the dimensions of the rectangle?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.
You have a 12 by 9 foot carpet with an 8 by 1 foot hole exactly in the middle. Cut the carpet into two pieces to make a 10 by 10 foot square carpet.
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have inside it before it was ripped?
Read about David Hilbert who proved that any polygon could be cut up into a certain number of pieces that could be put back together to form any other polygon of equal area.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
You have pitched your tent (the red triangle) on an island. Can you move it to the position shown by the purple triangle making sure you obey the rules?
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you help William to work out its area?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Have a good look at these images. Can you describe what is happening? There are plenty more images like this on NRICH's Exploring Squares CD.
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an explanation of how you did it?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red dashed. . . .
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?