Monday Maths: Vicki Robinson, Communications Officer
We’re freeing things up with this open-ended #MondayMaths problem this week. All we’re asking is for you to create shapes with an area of 24 cm2. So dig out that squared paper and get those creative juices flowing.
This is a lovely problem that can be given to students as soon as they have some understanding of shape and area. Year 4 and 5 pupils will be working with rectilinear shapes, and Year 7 and 8 pupils will be able to add triangular shapes to the mix.
The weirder the shapes are, the better (i.e. far from the usual polygons we might expect to see), and so encourage students to take on this challenge.
How can they continue to be sure that their strange shape is still 24 cm2 in area?
- We’ve also set the challenge of trying to create shapes that include curved lines. You don’t need to have explored circle geometry to attempt this challenge.
- In fact, those that have studied circle geometry may ask ‘how can I incorporate curves and make sure my shape has an integer value area, when pi is an irrational number?’
- When creating these shapes, we like to start with a simple shape we know is 24 cm2, like a 6 x 4 cm rectangle. From there, we can simultaneously add and subtract pieces of equal areas to ensure the total area is maintained.
In fact, why not encourage students to cut out a physical 6 x 4 cm rectangle and subtract (cut out) and add (stick on) parts of the shape themselves. This way they can cut out whichever shape they wish!
Have fun getting creative – we’d love for you to share some photos of your class’ shapes on Twitter.