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Learning objects Circus towers: square pyramids

TLF ID L1939

Work out how many acrobats are needed to form pyramid-shaped human towers. Start by building a square pyramid with five acrobats: four acrobats in the base layer and one acrobat standing on their shoulders. Examine a table and graph of the total number of acrobats in the towers. Predict the number of acrobats needed to build bigger towers. Describe how the number pattern is formed. This learning object is the last in a series of five objects that progressively increase in difficulty.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students identify and extend spatial and number patterns.
  • Students observe how 3D spatial patterns may be represented in tables, graphs, text and mathematical symbols.
Educational value
  • Students identify numerical characteristics of 3D spatial patterns.
  • Students extend numerical patterns.
  • Students enter data into tables.
  • Illustrates the usefulness of tables and graphs to identify and display patterns.
  • Introduces students to non-linear graphs.
  • Students generalise multiplicative patterns and rules using words and algebraic forms.
Year level


Learning area
  • mathematics
  • Mathematics/Number and algebra
    • Mathematics/Factors
    • Mathematics/Graphs
    • Mathematics/Formulas
    • Mathematics/Number patterns
    • Mathematics/Multiples
    • Mathematics/Multiplication
    • Mathematics/Algebra
    • Mathematics/Arithmetic
    • Mathematics/Computation
    • Mathematics/Right pyramids
    • Mathematics/Squares
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Technical implementer
    • Script writer
    • Name: Rod Rees
    • Organisation: Rees Films Pty Ltd
    • Address: Blackburn VIC Australia
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Howard Reeves
    • Address: Hobart TAS Australia
    • Educational validator
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.