Maths Analogies

Match the pictures to the mathematical phrases

  1. Vertically opposite angles are equal
  2. Inverse operations to solve equations
  3. Collecting like terms
  4. The two sides of an equation balance
  5. Tick a positive gradient
  6. Parallel lines never meet
  7. Fractions represent part of a whole
  8. Coordinates go along before going up

Each of the matches you have made could be called an analogy. Which analogies help you understand Mathematics? Which analogies might give you the wrong idea about this subject? Can you think of any others?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day


Topics: Starter | Memory | Mixed | Multiple Intelligences

  • Colleen Young, Newstead
  • I really like this idea and look forward to trying these out with my classes.
    But I don't like your a + 3b picture! a is the number of apples and b the number of bananas and your picture screams a for apples and b for bananas at me!
    It just reminded me of 'fruit salad' algebra which can cause misconceptions for students.
  • Transum,
  • There are certainly good analogies and bad analogies and the 'fruit salad algebra' one certainly has dangers. Interpreting a + 3b as the number of apples plus three times the number of bananas is quite different from considering a to be the cost or weight of an apple and b to be the cost or weight of a banana. It would make a good teaching point to un-pick this concept in an age appropriate way.

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