Garden Beds
Years 4 - 10



  • Print this square tiles template
    Cut off the white strip and the half / half strip beside it.
    You might need the other tiles later.
  • Cut the two strips into separate square tiles.
  • Print this Square Line Paper to record the shapes you make.
  • Write the title of this challenge and today's date on a fresh page in your maths journal.
When the activity is over your recording sheet should be put into your journal beside any other notes you make.

Getting Started

  • Open this Garden Beds Starter. You can read it on screen or print it.
  • Use the questions and the Challenge on the starter to begin your exploration of Garden Beds.

Have fun exploring Garden Beds.

Teachers learning about Garden Beds

Note: If your school is a member of Maths300, your teacher can provide software that will help you explore Garden Beds.


Digging Deeper

  • In a moment you will start a slide show called a Picture Puzzle.
    It will guide you through more of this activity.
  • Slide shows don't have to be 'finished' in one lesson.
    They can be revisited and continued at another time.
  • Use the arrows on your keyboard to change slides.
  • Do all that each slide asks before you move to the next one.
Start your Picture Puzzle by clicking the image.
Say yes to 'Full Screen' when asked.
Use 'Esc' to move out of full screen.
You can also get to full screen in the View menu.

Changing The Picture

Extra Investigation What Happens If...?
  • What happens if ... I tell you any number of plants in a row and any number of those rows?
  • What happens if ... I tell you the number of rows is always the same as the number of plants?
  • What happens if ... I tell you the plants are always planted in an L shape with equal arms.
    Investigate how to calculate the tiles.
  • What happens if ... I tell you the gardener always puts a double border of tiles around any garden?
    Investigate how to calculate the tiles.
Make up your own rule for laying out a garden and discover how to calculate the tiles.
Special Note: It really doesn't matter whether you try any of the 'What happens if...?' challenges (although we would like you to try one). What really matters is that you learn there is always another question a mathematician can ask.

Just Before You Finish

For this part you need your maths journal and your Working Like A Mathematician page.
  • Look at your notes for this activity. Think back through what you did.
  • Draw an oval in your journal.
    • Change it into a face that shows how you feel about Garden Beds.
    • Add a speech bubble if you wish.
  • How did you work like a mathematician through this activity? Record at least 2 ways.
  • What do you know now that you didn't know when you started Garden Beds?


Answers & Discussion

These notes were originally written for teachers. We have included them to support parents to help their child learn from Garden Beds.

Send any comments or photos about this activity and we can start a gallery here.


Maths At Home is a division of Mathematics Centre