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?
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 total area of the four outside triangles which are outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to wrap it so that it is completely covered.
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and making spirals.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
We can cut a small triangle off the corner of a square and then fit the two pieces together. Can you work out how these shapes are made from the two pieces?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
What does the overlap of these two shapes look like? Try picturing it in your head and then use the interactivity to test your prediction.
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three squares?
Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?
Move four sticks so there are exactly four triangles.
Can you describe a piece of paper clearly enough for your partner to know which piece it is?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.
A group activity using visualisation of squares and triangles.
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain why are they called pyramid numbers?
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
Have a look at what happens when you pull a reef knot and a granny knot tight. Which do you think is best for securing things together? Why?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?
Have a go at making a few of these shapes from paper in different sizes. What patterns can you create?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.
Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?
What shape is made when you fold using this crease pattern? Can you make a ring design?
This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!
Have you ever tried tessellating capital letters? Have a look at these examples and then try some for yourself.
Can you split each of the shapes below in half so that the two parts are exactly the same?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the sports car?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
How many balls of modelling clay and how many straws does it take to make these skeleton shapes?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?
This second article in the series refers to research about levels of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of instruction.
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes I've used. Can you see any patterns?