This is a great introduction to Cartesian coordinates - parallel and perpendicular lines and right angles. It's also great practice.
It is simple enough for elementary students, but it is brilliantly open ended. Part of the puzzle remains unsolved - hence the $500 reward for the classroom that solves it. It is one of MathPickle's most beautiful puzzles.
Standards for Mathematical Practice:
All MathPickle puzzles including "Mishap at Venn Zoo" are guaranteed to engage a wide spectrum of student abilities while targeting the following Standards for Mathematical Practice:
MP1 Toughen up!
This is problem solving where our students develop grit and resiliency in the face of nasty, thorny problems. It is the most sought after skill for our students.
MP3 Work together!
This is collaborative problem solving in which students discuss their strategies to solve a problem and identify missteps in a failed solution. MathPickle recommends pairing up students for all its puzzles.
MP6 Be precise!
This is where our students learn to communicate using precise terminology. MathPickle encourages students not only to use the precise terms of others, but to invent and rigorously define their own terms.
MP7 Be observant!
One of the things that the human brain does very well is identify pattern. We sometimes do this too well and identify patterns that don't really exist.
Common Core State Standards:
Taxi Cab Squares target Common Core State Standards across a wide spectrum of grades. Students from grade 4 through 10 will all take away curricular content from this engaging puzzle:
Draw right angles, perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.
Find the area of polygons.
Draw polygons in the coordinate plane.
Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions.
Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints)