Explore one of these five pictures.
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?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?
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 do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
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 rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have inside it before it was ripped?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
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.
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could measure lengths, areas and angles.
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?
This article for teachers gives some food for thought when teaching ideas about area.
This article, written for teachers, discusses the merits of different kinds of resources: those which involve exploration and those which centre on calculation.
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
How would you move the bands on the pegboard to alter these shapes?
An activity for high-attaining learners which involves making a new cylinder from a cardboard tube.
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to wrap it so that it is completely covered.
Use the information on these cards to draw the shape that is being described.
Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?
I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about the relationship between them?
A simple visual exploration into halving and doubling.
In how many ways can you halve a piece of A4 paper? How do you know they are halves?
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.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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. . . .
Grandpa was measuring a rug using yards, feet and inches. Can you help William to work out its area?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
We started drawing some quadrilaterals - can you complete them?
The computer has made a rectangle and will tell you the number of spots it uses in total. Can you find out where the rectangle is?
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you enlarge them?
Measure problems for inquiring primary learners.