Change One Aspect: TES Maths Resource of the Week 75

The following resource has been kindly shared on the TES Maths website. It is available to download for free by registering. And to access all the lovely Resource of the Week (ROTW) resources, just click here

What is it?

Quite simply, this is brilliant. Such a simple idea. Students are presented with a question, and challenged to change one aspect of it to make it true. So we have something like this:

A (-3,2)    B (4,4) and C (1,-1)

Can you change one ordinate so that A,B and C all lie on the same straight line?

Several of the key A Level topics are covered here, and it adds a significant degree of richness to the topics themselves. Students are compelled to discuss, hypothesis, investigate and play around with concepts in ways they might not have done previously. And they just might stumble upon some generalisations or new discoveries along the way.

How can it be used?

This resource could be used in its entirety as part of a rich, challenging revision lesson. Get the students into pairs or small groups, and let them have it. Or arrange a carousel activity, where pairs only get a set amount of time on each card before moving on. But I think I would prefer to spread the love it a bit over the course of the year. So, when I have finished the co-ordinate geometry work needed for Core 1, I would give the students the line task detailed above. And if they complete it, I would challenge them to dig deeper: how many solutions are there? Is this always the case? What are the equations of each of these lines? Where do they intersect each other? Can then make up a similar challenge for someone else in the class? Can they illustrate their method using Desmos? What if we used a curve instead of a line? Plenty of possibilities. And best of all, with a bit of thought, I think the “change one aspect” methodology could be applied to pretty much all maths topics to give us yet another rich, meaningful, engaging style of activity for all ages and abilities.


Thank you for sharing!

Craig Barton


Download Change one aspect

View the author’s other resources


Leave a Reply