Area Two

A Maths Starter of The Day

Area Two

How many different shapes with an area of 2 square units can you make by joining dots on this grid with straight lines?

Teacher: Click on the dots above to show joining lines.

A printable sheet for student use is available here.

A Flash version of the grid is here.


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Topics: Starter | Area | Geometry | Mensuration | Problem Solving | Shape

  • Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy
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  • 3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy - Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!
  • Mark, New Zealand
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  • I used this for a struggling class of 13 year olds and it worked really well. From simple triangles of area 2 we used it to show that obtuse triangles can be made too: the grid makes working out areas so easy.

    Next time I will give them a sheet to record their findings though.
  • Matt, Seb and David, Chatham Grammar School for Boys
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  • We reckon there are at least 25!
  • Miss Reakes, West Island School, HK
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  • This is a great starter for a mixed ability class due to it's open ended posibilities. The brighter ones using fractions other than a half didn't want to stop! I gave dotted paper to the weaker ones to start them off immediately.
  • C J Southward, Limehouse School Cumbria
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  • My year 9s scored way over 45 including trapeziums and long triangles.
  • William Hulme Grammar Academy, Year 8 Set 1
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  • We got 18 different shapes but when you rotate and manipulate these base shapes we had over 50. But we only 10 minutes on it as a starter.
  • M Mc Crea, Holy Cross College
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  • My students took a while to grasp the complete concept but then some of the Girls especially warmed to the task and after a gentle nudge, found over 140, with rotations and all the different shapes already mentioned by the other teachers here.
  • Mr Bentley, Braeview Primary, Happy Valley, Australia
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  • We found 26 different shapes that totalled over 300. We stuck to regular shapes to make it easier. Five of my mathematicians stuck with this for nearly an hour.
  • Mike, New Jersey, USA
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  • I suspect that there are thousands (not counting reflections/rotations)
    for example (0,0)(2,1)(1,2)(3,1)(5,2)(4,1)(0,0), and all those points can be slid individually horizontally, making tons of permutations.

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This starter has scored a mean of 3.4 out of 5 based on 237 votes.


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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.

Transum.org/go/?Start=September10

Here is the URL which will take them to a similar open ended activity.

Transum.org/go/?to=Areaperimf

Student Activity



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