Is this Venn-like diagram a good fit for Reptile, Crocodile, Female?

Does this make sense?

No – it suggests that some Crocodiles are not Reptiles. WRONG.

It also suggests that all Crocodiles are Females. WRONG.

Fix it…

This works. Some Crocodiles and Reptiles are Female, but not all. All Crocodiles are Reptiles…


The challenge with this puzzle is that you must match three descriptors to the right diagram. Good luck!

Find the printable pdf here.

We have just made one connection…

Get your students to make all connections. Discussion is encouraged 😉

Extra work for older students: I believe there are two diagrams that I have purposely omitted because they were difficult to match to an animal 3-set.  I am not 100% positive that I’ve only missed two, so if someone could check on this it would be great. Any computer programmers that could help in finding the number of diagrams for four circles – that would be swell!!!


Venn Puzzler

(MathPickle, 2014)

Match sets of three descriptors to Venn-like diagrams. Although these are not Venn diagrams, they provide a complex and interesting way to reintroduce Venn diagrams after a three-question Venn diagram is understood by a majority of the class.

Find the printable pdf here.

Standards for Mathematical Practice

MathPickle puzzle and game designs engage a wide spectrum of student abilities while targeting the following Standards for Mathematical Practice:

MP1 Toughen up!

This is problem solving where our students develop grit and resiliency in the face of nasty, thorny problems. It is the most sought after skill for our students.

MP3 Work together!

This is collaborative problem solving in which students discuss their strategies to solve a problem and identify missteps in a failed solution. MathPickle recommends pairing up students for all its puzzles.

MP6 Be precise!

This is where our students learn to communicate using precise terminology. MathPickle encourages students not only to use the precise terms of others, but to invent and rigorously define their own terms.

MP7 Be observant!

One of the things that the human brain does very well is identify pattern. We sometimes do this too well and identify patterns that don't really exist.


Please use MathPickle in your classrooms. If you have improvements to make, please contact us. We'll give you credit 😉

Gordon Hamilton

(MMath, PhD)


Lora Saarnio