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.
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).