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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
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?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to wrap it so that it is completely covered.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have inside it before it was ripped?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
This article for teachers gives some food for thought when teaching ideas about area.
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.
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?
Here are many ideas for you to investigate - all linked with the number 2000.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
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?
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.
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
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?
Look at the mathematics that is all around us - this circular window is a wonderful example.
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. . . .
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
In how many ways can you halve a piece of A4 paper? How do you know they are halves?
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?
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Explore one of these five pictures.
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about the relationship between them?
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?
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you help William to work out its area?
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.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
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. . . .
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. . . .
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?