This activity is designed to be accessible to primary pupils at Key Stage 1.
Detailed teachers' notes for this activity are available on our NRICH website.
Stage: 1 Challenge Level:
Some children from the class are thinking about races because they are interested in the Olympics. Afzal, Bengy and Chrissy like the idea of getting medals. They know that there are Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
Afzal says that if he won he'd get Gold and if Bengy then came second he'd get Silver and Chrissy would then get Bronze.
Chrissy says that's right but if she'd come first she would get the Gold and then when Bengy came second he'd get Silver again and Afzal would get Bronze.
Bengy has other ideas too.
If the children found all the different ways in which they could be first, second and third, how many would they find?
If we think of Gold first and then Silver and lastly Bronze then so far we have:
Afzal, Bengy, Chrissy
Chrissy, Bengy, Afzal
and whatever Bengy's ideas are.
Which ways can you find?
If you're finding hard to get started, try looking at this hint.
Detailed teachers' notes for this activity are available on our NRICH website, where you can also find thousands more mathematical resources including problems, investigations and games for all ages from 5 to 19..