The Detective Game

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An envelope of 54 triangles of 3 different colors; of 3 different sizes and 6 types:

  • 9 acute-angled isosceles triangles.
  • 9 right-angled isosceles triangles.
  • 9 obtuse-angled isosceles triangles (three of each color).
  • 9 acute-angled scalene triangles (three of each size).
  • 9 right-angled scalene triangles.
  • 9 obtuse-angled scalene triangles.


Directress and child.


  1. The triangles are scattered on the table.
  2. The directress says, "I want only one of these. Can you guess which one it is?"
  3. The child may guess or choose one.
  4. "No, that is not the color of the one I want".
  5. The child guesses the color and isolates all of the triangles of the right color.
  6. The guessing goes on, each time eliminating some triangles as the qualities are narrowed down.
  7. As each correct quality is identified, the directress writes a label, i.e. after the child has found that the triangle must be green, the three labels are arranged: the green triangle.
  8. At the end, when only one triangle is left, the adjectives cover all of its characteristics: the large green obtuse-angled isosceles triangle.
  9. The child reads the labels.
  10. Directress says: "It was necessary to use many adjectives to find the right triangle from among that large group".
  11. The labels are taken up and mixed and lain out again.
  12. "With the same adjectives we would still be able to find the correct triangle, but the arrangement/order of the adjectives usually sounds best in only one way".
  13. The child rearranges them to find which order sounds best.

Control Of Error

The Directress.

Points Of Interest


  • To give a very strong impression of each function of speech.