Can you use the Numicon shapes to cover the Christmas tree?
This is a variation on the popular Cover Santa’s Sleigh activity.
You will need a Christmas tree (download and print) and Numicon® shapes.
Start with the blank Christmas tree and ask learners to use the Numicon shapes to cover it in any way they can.
Ask learners to explain how they covered the tree. Which shapes did they choose first and why? What did they notice? Are some shapes more useful than others?
How many different ways can you find to do it? Compare your tree with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different?
How many shapes have you used? Who has used most shapes? Who has used fewest?
Can you cover the tree using only odd shapes? Why or why not? What about even shapes?
Can you use one shape repeatedly to cover the tree? Which shapes will work? Which won’t? Why?
Can you cover the tree using each shape at least once?
Look for learners who:
- can reason about which shapes to use,
- can explain their thinking,
- can work systematically,
- can see patterns and discuss why they are choosing particular shapes,
- can substitute shapes so that they have more or fewer, rather than starting from scratch each time,
- can talk about similarities and differences.