Knot Theory Problem
Over the course of the week before this activity have children bring in a tazo.
(they know what they are).
- cut out about 10 pieces of cardboard in the
shape of a tazo as it is rather predictable that certain students will not bring
in the required materials ;)
- Make sure each child has a pair of scissors.
Have some wool on hand.
Method: - The Teacher Does These Steps
Punch two holes through a Tazo, a bayblade (or a small piece of cardboard)
using a holepunch or an electric drill.
Loop c. 30cm of wool through the Tazo and tie it with a firm knot.
Tie the wool and tazo to the handle of a pair of safety scissors as shown here.
Problem - Attempt to remove the string loop by: not bending the tazo, not
cutting the string or undoing the knot and then put it back on. This is a logical
thinking puzzle not a brute force one.
Just for Fun:
it that the children are not allowed to use their scissors until they solve the
This is 'problem solving NOT problem showing'. Do not show the solution
to your friends no matter how much they whine, you will take away the a-ha feeling
- when they do show their friends how to do it (and they will) discuss
how it is funny that no-one got the solution and then all at once heaps of people
- Discuss the taking away of the a-ha feeling as a whole group.