Tom Davis
Suggested Citation: Davis, Tom. (2022). Rational Tangles. In S. Bowen (Ed.), Math Circle Activity Database. American Institute of Mathematics. https://mathcircles.org/activity/rational-tangles

Conway’s Rational Tangles

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Math Circles:
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What do adding positive and negative fractions have to do with tying knots? In this entertaining lesson, students will use ropes to explore and identify mathematical operations that untangle knots and lead to new thinking. Simple operations of twists and rotations circle back to practicing the addition of positive and negative fractions.

Activity Guide

This guide from Geometer.org explores rational tangles in detail and goes into topics such as impossible tangles.

Classroom Lesson Plan

This includes Learning objectives, suggested materials, & instructional plan

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