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.

الغاز مخطط فين

نشاط مخطط فين

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!

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

MP2 Think abstractly!

Students take problems and reformat them mathematically. This is helpful because mathematics lets them use powerful operations like addition.

MP3 Work together!

Students discuss their strategies to collaboratively solve a problem and identify missteps in a failed solution. MathPickle recommends pairing up students for all its puzzles.

MP4 Model reality!

Students create a model that mimics the real world. Discoveries made by manipulating the model often hint at something in the real world.

MP5 Use the right tools!

Students should use the right tools: 0-99 wall charts, graph paper, etc.

MP6 Be precise!

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!

Students learn to identify patterns. This is one of the things that the human brain does very well. We sometimes even identify patterns that don't really exist 😉

MP8 Be lazy!?!

Students learn to seek for shortcuts. Why would you want to add the numbers one through a hundred if you can find an easier way to do it?


Please use MathPickle in your classrooms. If you have improvements to make, please contact me. I'll give you credit and kudos 😉 For a free poster of MathPickle's ideas on elementary math education go here.

Gordon Hamilton

(MMath, PhD)