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Magic rectangles

15 min1 participant

Recognize and understand geometric relationships; improve math efficiency. Find the magic number!

Let's play!

  1. Build a rectangle on the base plate with 3 rows that include 3 bricks in each row.

  2. Make it a magic rectangle by rearranging the bricks until each row and column of bricks added together equals the magic number 6.

How to prepare

  • 1 base plate

  • 9 number bricks (3 of each of the numbers “1”, “2” and “3”)

  • 1 number sign brick

  • 1 bowl

Place the number sign brick on the top left corner of the base plate to indicate that the bricks represent numbers.

Place the other bricks in the bowl.

Facilitation tips

  • Suggest extra space between bricks for easier manipulation.

  • Demonstrate and explain examples of a non-magic and a magic rectangle.

  • Ask “What make this is a magic rectangle?”.

  • Ask “What was your strategy for completing the activity?”.

Possible variations

  • Create a magic rectangle with 2 missing bricks.

  • Change composition of magic rectangles with the same 9 bricks.

  • Create a magic rectangle with number bricks “1” to “9”. 

  • Construct a rectangle with number bricks “1” to “16” to create a 4 x 4 shape -magic number equals 34.

Download & print

  • Download in .docx

Children will develop these holistic skills

cognitive skills

  • Solve problems: Solve problems that require the organization of multiple data or the construction of an approach that combines reasoning steps (addition and subtraction, missing number problems, using number facts, place value, involving multiplication and division, using materials, arrays, repeated addition; using simple fractions, integers, decimals)
  • Tell, express, analyse: Explain process of doing, playing

physical skills

  • Recognize real situations that can be modeled by geometric relationships (alignment, parallelism, perpendicularity, symmetry)
  • Develop tactile tracking skills: Use both hands to track across broken lines on a page and identify space between lines

social skills

  • Plan and carry out routine or non-routine activities requiring multiple steps

Did you know?

  • Numeracy is not only about numbers : it also relies on self-regulation or executive functions and spatial skills.

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