## Easter animals

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the *Numicon®* shapes to cover the picture of the Easter Chick .

You will need the Chick picture (download and print on yellow paper) and a set of *Numicon®* shapes. Ask learners to use the *Numicon®* shapes to cover the chick in any way they can.

*How many different ways can you do it?* Describe what you’ve done.

Compare your chick with your friend’s. *What’s the same and what’s different? How did you check that your way was different from your friend’s?*

**Play What’s missing?**

- When the chick is covered with shapes, one child closes their eyes, another takes away one shape.
*Which one is missing? How do you know?* - Put some shapes in a feely bag, take them out one at a time and place on the chick.
*Can you find the shapes you want by touch alone?*This helps with visualising the shapes.

**Ask:**

*How did you cover the chick? How many shapes did you use? Talk about how you chose the shapes. Which shapes were most useful?*

*Can you cover the chick using different shapes?*

*How many different ways can you do it?*

*What is the fewest number of shapes you can use? The most?*

*Can you just use odd shapes? Even shapes?
*

*What if you weren’t allowed to use the same shape more than once? How many ways can you do it? Is this more difficult? What are you thinking?*

*Can you use one shape repeatedly to cover the chick? Which shapes will work? Which won’t? Why?*

Encourage learners to describe and explain what they are doing.

Look for those learners who have a strategy for choosing shapes and those who use trial and improvement.

Look for learners who swap shapes for other equivalent shapes each time they look for a new arrangement rather than starting from the beginning.

Encourage learners to put all their completed chicks together and **ask** “what is the same?” “what is different?”

Try the same activities with the Easter Bunny (download here).