The Great Shape Photo Hunt

Mathematical games and activities - the shape huntThis resource was inspired by a recent feature in Primary Magazine (see ref. below). It is basically a treasure hunt which enables the children to discover shapes in their environment.

The downloadable resource* features 40 shape cards.

With the children working in pairs, or small groups, give them a digital camera and a selection of the cards. Maths - Shape treasure hunt gameThe challenge is for them to explore their surroundings, taking images which fulfil the descriptions on the cards.

The activity could be used as a 'treasure hunt' game - or as a collaborative 'team-player' activity.

Throughout the activity the children should be encouraged to discuss their options, to find the best object (or objects) to photograph and to determine how they will describe and justify their images when they return.

It is easy to adapt the activity to meet varying needs. The cards are divided into two sets, blue and red. The red set is (potentially) more difficult than the blue one... however, this very much depends upon the shapes in the environment and the children's interpretation of the wording.

This latter point is important, you should be happy to accept all manner of images, provided that the children can justify them. 

 For example:

Maths shape activity

  •  Guitar strings could show parallel lines





  • Tree ring growth could be seen as an example of concentric circles - although clearly not circles, the concentric nature of hte shapes is apparent



  • This shot of a drain cover demonstrates 5 x 2 (or 2 x 5). If the camera had been held closer - to crop away some of the image - the same grill could be used to demonstrate 4 x 2, 3 x 2, 2, x 2 or 2 x 1.




  • A sink drain could be used to illustrate rotational symmetry, reflective symmetry, circles or another example of concentric shapes....




The point (as usual) is not the photographs themselves but the discussion that has taken place within the team of children to justify the taking of the image... and the subsequent justification/definition offered by the team to the rest of the class.


Original source: NCETM Primary Magazine (NCETM - 10 things to photograph in a mathematical scavenger hunt)


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