Six Squares: Geometry and Design

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In this activity, learners take a turn contributing a closed figure made of six squares to a large grid; each must be different from all the others on the grid so far. As everyone adds their shapes, they consider reflections and rotations. This activity works well as a display in a public area such as a library or museum; it can also be done as a whole group activity. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • poster-size piece of graph paper with 1” or larger squares
  • colored markers


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537