What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
A tower of squares is built inside a right angled isosceles
triangle. The largest square stands on the hypotenuse. What
fraction of the area of the triangle is covered by the series of
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an
explanation of how you did it?
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is, satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in a circle with a unit radius?
A hallway floor is tiled and each tile is one foot square. Given
that the number of tiles around the perimeter is EXACTLY half the
total number of tiles, find the possible dimensions of the hallway.
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a
pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which
can be rearranged into another square.
Investigate the different ways of cutting a perfectly circular pie into equal pieces using exactly 3 cuts. The cuts have to be along chords of the circle (which might be diameters).
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Derive a formula for finding the area of any kite.
Prove that a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 6 has the same area as a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 8. Find other pairs of non-congruent isosceles triangles which have equal areas.
Six circular discs are packed in different-shaped boxes so that the
discs touch their neighbours and the sides of the box. Can you put
the boxes in order according to the areas of their bases?
A circle with the radius of 2.2 centimetres is drawn touching the sides of a square. What area of the square is NOT covered by the circle?
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 is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship
between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on
AB as diameter?
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find
the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
How can you change the area of a shape but keep its perimeter the same? How can you change the perimeter but keep the area the same?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of
others and responding.
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Explore one of these five pictures.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Triangle ABC is right angled at A and semi circles are drawn on all three sides producing two 'crescents'. Show that the sum of the areas of the two crescents equals the area of triangle ABC.
Follow the instructions and you can take a rectangle, cut it into 4 pieces, discard two small triangles, put together the remaining two pieces and end up with a rectangle the same size. Try it!
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
At the corner of the cube circular arcs are drawn and the area enclosed shaded. What fraction of the surface area of the cube is shaded? Try working out the answer without recourse to pencil and. . . .
What fractions of the largest circle are the two shaded regions?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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
Draw two circles, each of radius 1 unit, so that each circle goes
through the centre of the other one. What is the area of the
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
Bluey-green, white and transparent squares with a few odd bits of
shapes around the perimeter. But, how many squares are there of
each type in the complete circle? Study the picture and make. . . .
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB
and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q
such that APCQ is a rhombus.
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
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
A white cross is placed symmetrically in a red disc with the central square of side length sqrt 2 and the arms of the cross of length 1 unit. What is the area of the disc still showing?