Problem Solving Activity Ideas
Matchstick Puzzle One:
You are an office supervisor and the matchsticks show the movable office walls. One of your workers gets a promotion and moves to another floor. Using the 12 matches rearrange the walls so that each person has a square office. You must use all of the matches.
Matchstick Puzzle Two:
Using ten matches make two squares.
Matchstick Puzzle Three:
Remove only three matches and leave three triangles.
Puzzle Tips and Tricks:
– Draw the original puzzle positions on the board so the students can easily return their matchsticks to the first position.
– When handing out the matches, give out one box between 4 students and have them distribute the matches to their friends. #wayquicker
– Admit to your class that you don’t know the answers to these problems then sit and solve the puzzles with the students.
– Demonstrate being a lifelong learner by doing puzzles with the students.
– You will gain so much more by persevering with the puzzles until you reach the solution.
– The ‘A-ha’ feeling is so much sweeter if you solve the problem yourself.
– The solutions are just a click away, it would be so easy just to give up but resist the temptation!
– The puzzle solutions are but below but I’m sure you have more strength than to look and rob yourself of the ‘A-ha Feeling’ 😉
Taking it Further:
- Have students find other matchstick puzzles for their friends to solve.
- – Compile these puzzles into a class book.
- – Distribute this book to other classes around the school.