Ages 7 to 11
To help pupils understand shape and space, stand them in a circle, holding a long loop of rope. Call out the names of three to 10 pupils to hold the rope while the rest drop it.
Then get them to pull tightly to form a 2-D shape. Pupils can identify the shape and discuss its properties.
Problem-solving skills can be developed by asking pupils to organise the rope into a particular shape, such as an irregular nonagon.
As an extension, ask more able pupils to make a 3-D shape (a cuboid perhaps) with the rope. Talk about the properties of 3-D shapes including the difficulties they encounter when using materials such as rope to model them.
Benjamin Westley teaches Years 3 and 4 at Meldreth Primary in Cambridgeshire.