Can you work out how many squares can be found in this diagram? Can you be sure you haven't missed any? Can you be sure you haven't counted any twice?
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There is a printable worksheet to go with this activity.
The important thing is not the answer but the method you used to arrive at the answer. Did you have a structured approach? Were you sure that you had the right answer? Can you make up a puzzle like this for others to solve?
How many squares are there on a chess board?
A more difficult extension challenge would be to work out how many rectangles are on a chess board. The use of a spreadsheet might be useful when working on this problem.
Other shape counting starters:
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Teacher, do your students have
access to computers?
Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Here is the URL which will take them to another systematic listing activity.