Aims and objectives
The aim of this activity is to allow pupils to create their own
matchstick shapes and patterns then write about them in mathematical
terms. The patterns can be created by either number progressions
or geometric shapes.
As this is an ‘exploratory’ activity students can approach
it at whatever level they feel comfortable with. The supporting
worksheets provide teacher guidance on a range of possible tasks
for students at all levels of ability.
In the classroom
Students can use this activity to create their own series of patterns
and work out the relationship between each pattern. They can also
use the endless pile of matchsticks to create their own shapes e.g.
they could try making a hexagon and then adding another hexagon
to it. When they have made their shape they can print the worksheet
and copy the pattern onto it.
The activity may be linked to a problem that you have set. For
example, give the pupils two members of a series on the whiteboard
then ask them to create the third and fourth members on the screen.
They then have to explain the rule (in words). Alternatively the
teacher can state a relationship and then ask the pupils to create
the pattern using the matchsticks.
Although students are likely to be working independently or in
small groups using this activity, if an interactive whiteboard is
available then it becomes a really effective way for a teacher to
demonstrate or model the activities.
|Support materials description:
|The main matchstick_patterns.pdf contains a ‘manual’
version of the activity where pupils can used spent matches
to create their own patterns and sequences. If printed onto
stiff paper and then laminated the worksheets become a wipe-clean
reusable resource. If the worksheet is printed onto an acetate
then it can be used by teachers with an OHP to demonstrate or
set patterns for students to solve.
Mathematics – KS3:
Ma2 1i, j; 6a-c
Ma3 1c, f, j