Tricube Constructions A
Years 4 - 8

There are two parts to this activity - the preparation and the puzzle. You can't do the puzzle without the preparation. You will need a parent to co-operate in the preparation. It will probably be spread over two days.
If you have already done Preparation and Isometric Drawing in another activity, start at Tricube Constructions.


First you have to make four Tricubes.

A Tricube is made in an L-shape from three cubes and then coloured. So, you need:
  • a length of 18mm dressed square section timber as shown
  • a handsaw, ruler, square, pencil, sandpaper, workbench and vice or clamps
  • PVA glue
  • red, blue and green broad tip markers
With parent assistance as necessary, mark the first 18mm cube with pencil, ruler and square. Cut it off and sand. Measure the next one, cut and sand. Continue until you have 12 cubes.
  • You only need 12 for this investigation, but at later date cut the whole length into cubes. Your cube collection will be used in other activities.
Glue 2 cubes together four times and let them dry. When they are dry, glue a third cube on top of each pair to make the L-shape and let it dry.
  • Use the markers to colour a red one, a blue one, and a green one.
  • The fourth one is not coloured. We will say it is yellow.

Lengths of 18mm pine square section timber at the local hardware superstore.

Isometric Drawing

The picture of the Tricube above is an isometric drawing.
  • Print this isometric paper and join the dots to help you draw a tricube in the smallest possible size.

    When you get it right, the only dots will be on the edges and corners of the Tricube. There won't be any dots inside the faces.

  • Put two Tricubes together to make a new object. Draw the new object.
  • Put the other two Tricubes together a different way and draw the new object.

Tricube Constructions

Have fun exploring Tricube Constructions.

Extra Challenges

Place one tricube on the table so it is like a two-storey building.

The picture above shows you.

In this challenge you are going to imagine yourself on the other side of a wide street
looking straight on at what you see.

You might have to imagine yourself walking back a bit to see all the building.

Teachers learning from this activity.

  • Print this Square Line Paper.
  • Make two drawings that show what you see from the street. One view from the front and one from the left side.
  • Just draw the squares you see. Don't use colours. (Answers below.)

That was the practice.
Now you go back to each of the isometric drawings you did above:

  • Draw a front view and left side view for each of them.
  • Label both your recording sheets so you know which views belong to which isometric drawing.

Just Before You Finish

For this part you need your maths journal and your Working Like A Mathematician page.
  • Read through this page again and record at least two ways you worked like a mathematician.
  • Investigate and report briefly on where looking down, isometric and front/side views are used in your world.


Answers & Discussion

Answers to front and left side views of a Tricube.
  • Front - two squares, one above the other.
  • Left - three squares in an L shape the same as a capital L.
These notes were originally written for teachers. We have included them to support parents to help their child learn from Tricube Constructions A.

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


Maths At Home is a division of Mathematics Centre