Some Fishy Shaped Maths

The wonderful website has recently published this creative fish model.Sally-s

My daughter is a great fan of all animals and loved the look of this paper model. The instructions in the video are very clear, but we found further, step-by-step instructions on the website.

The fish model (click on the video, above, to see how it is made) uses one A4 piece of paper and a few other scraps for the fins and the eyes. We made the fish the other day and had some fun talking about the instructions.

While we made our fish I tried to think of all the maths I could draw out of it. There’s plenty to do with shape, of course. We talked about the square we made at the beginning, and Sally was keen to check that all the sides were the same length. Then we looked at the different triangles that showed up when we folded the square. There was lots to talk about here.


Older children could think about the size of the angles created by the folds.

There are four triangles coming out of one 90 degree ‘corner’ here. It’s possible to calculate the size of those angles.

There are other angles that can be worked out too from knowledge of the properties of squares and triangles.

When we made all the cuts we did what they did in the video and just guessed. But we could have measured the diagonal fold line and divided this measurement so the cuts were all equally spaced.

When we cut out the shapes for the fins and the eyes Sally just wanted to get going with the scissors, but I helped her to fold the paper first so we could make each fin symmetrical.

[image credit:]

The fish from is a great starting point for making fun paper models.

If your children enjoyed making it they might like this simple origami ‘jeep’ model.


This one is folded from only one piece of paper – and there are lots of ways to build in maths language. Details of how to make it, and suggestions for maths questions to ask are on the website.


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