Where's the Maths in that?

These resources are designed to demonstrate to students that mathematics can be found all around them.  They are very easy to use, simply display a photograph and ask “Where is the maths in that?”

Using photographs and pictures will stimulate creativity, discussion and debate - showing students that they can talk about mathematics and that mathematics is not always about right and wrong answers and written methods.

Teacher Notes

Big Idea

The idea behind this piece of work is to provide a structure for students which demonstrates that maths can be found all around them. It will help them see what that mathematics is and, by using photographs and pictures, encourage creativity. Using pictures to stimulate discussion and debate shows students that they can talk about mathematics and that mathematics is not always about right and wrong answers and written methods.

How to use the slides

The slides are designed for you to use as many or as few as you like and for as long or as short a time as you like. You might like to use them with your tutor group, in a mathematics lesson, another subject or even an assembly. The slides have been designed to be as flexible as possible. We suggest that resource A is suitable for years 5-8, resource B are suitable for years 7-10 and resource C is suitable for years 9-12, depending on the strengths and interests of your students.


Aimed at Years 5-8



Aimed at Years 7-10



Aimed at Years 9-12



  1. Choose a photograph and display it
  2. Ask "Where is the Maths in that?"
  3. Let the ideas flow!

Aim to show:

  • Mathematics is all around us
  • Mathematics is creative
  • Mathematics is not always about being right or wrong

In order to promote discussion

  • Emphasise - Nobody can be wrong
  • It's just about explaining your thoughts

Note: There is a hidden slide after every photograph with suggestions of the mathematics in the picture but they are in no-way exhaustive! They also range in complexity and so you may consider some to be beyond what you would like to use with your students. Use as many or as few as you wish. Some of the slides also contain links for developing some of the ideas into longer activities or lessons.

Ideas: Consider what mathematics is used to model the situation in the photo. What mathematics might the people in the pictures need? Discuss what questions the photographs raise in the students’ minds.

Going further: You might like to use your own photographs or encourage the students to provide their own photographs – especially ones where they think there is no mathematics involved and then the class can persuade them otherwise! You could print out some of the photos and use as a carousel activity. The students move around in groups with a few minutes at each picture to come up with ideas and then feedback as a class after each group has seen all the pictures.

Why not share that you have had a go at this resource: we would love to hear how you got on. Tweet from your school account: @Advanced_MathsOpens a new window @Maths_WeekOpens a new window We hope you enjoy them.

These resources were designed as part of the AMSP's support for Maths Week EnglandOpens a new window.