Two Twins and Tim

Where should the five friends meet to minimise the total walking distance?

Tim is represented by the circle marked 1

Each of the circles marked 2 represents a pair of twins.

They can only walk along the grid lines.

Choose a meeting point. Calculate the distance all five people will have to walk added together to get there. Is that the best place to meet?

A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Topics: Starter | Coordinates | Problem Solving | Puzzles

  • Transum,
  • This is more of a substantial thinking task isn't it? While younger pupils might make a sensible guess (with justification) more advanced students of mathematics might come up with an algorithm for finding that optimal meeting point. Remember that the positions of Tim and the twins changes each time you refresh the page so there is ample opportunity to test those algorithms.

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
Click here to enter your comments.

Previous Day | This starter is for 21 July | Next Day



Sign in to your Transum subscription account to see the answers

Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.

There is a printable worksheet that extends this activity.


Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon link. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases which helps pay for the upkeep of this website.

Educational Technology on Amazon


Online Maths Shop

Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments:

However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below.

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.

Student Activity



©1997-2024 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG