Welcome to my exploration activity on Magic Squares. Although this is not a traditional webquest, I created a web site that carries the same principles. My hope is that you will learn a little more about magic squares and gain a deeper interest into how they can be used in the mathematics classroom.

Cultural and Mathematical Context

Changing mathematical paradigms have considered and implemented the use of constructivist pedagogy to increase student achievement and motivation. Teachers who use methods of exploration and investigation are more likely engage students in processes of higher-order thinking and critical thinking. Furthermore, constructivist pedagogy coupled with technology-rich activities can help learners with different learning styles become more proficient in the subject matter. To that extent, this activity focuses on using technology in an explorative environment to learn the topic of magic squares. This activity uses a cultural perspective to explain the history, mathematics (e.g., counting, patterns, number operations, and numerical analysis), and mathematical connections of magic squares.


This activity is geared towards high school Geometry students studying number patterns and symmetry.


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  1. Computers and/or laptops (class set preferably).
  2. Internet connection
  3. Flash Plug-in
  4. Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher
  5. Franklin 8-by8 magic square sheet
  6. Lo-Shu Magic Squares Activity Sheet
  7. LCD projector
  8. Access to http://plaza.ufl.edu/ufkelley/magic

NCTM Standards

Numbers and Operations Standard

Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.

In grades 9–12 all students should–

  1. develop a deeper understanding of very large and very small numbers and of various representations of them;
  2. compare and contrast the properties of numbers and number systems, including the rational and real numbers, and understand complex numbers as solutions to quadratic equations that do not have real solutions;
  3. use number-theory arguments to justify relationships involving whole numbers.

Sunshine State Standards

The student describes, analyzes, and generalizes a wide variety of patterns, relations, and functions. (MA.D.1.4)

  1. describes, analyzes, and generalizes relationships, patterns, and functions using words, symbols,
    variables, tables, and graphs.
  2. determines the impact when changing parameters of given functions.


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