Pin it!
Google Plus

4.3.1 Hiding Ladybug

4-3_HidingLadybug  Hiding Ladybug (applet)

Students create a path that enables the ladybug to hide under a leaf. 


The ladybug hears someone coming and wants to hide. Your task is to plan a path that will take the ladybug to a hiding place under the leaf. Click on the direction buttons to plan a path the ladybug could take to hide under the leaf. Click on the "Play" button to see if the path works. The ladybug leaves a trail, so you can see the connection between the mathematical movement commands and the resulting path.


[Stand-alone applet]

How to Use the Interactive Figure

To plan the path the ladybug should take to hide under the leaf, click on the direction buttons. The commands will appear on the screen below the picture of the ladybug. Click on the Play button to see if the path works. To clear a step, click on the step in the plan and then click on the Clear Step button. To insert a step, click on the step in the plan and then click on another direction button. Other features can be accessed from the following buttons: 

Entire Pattern    
Play    Move Forward  Forward
Pause (left button) and resume (right button)    Move Back  Backward
Stop and erase the path (does not erase the plan)     Right 45  45 degree right turn 
Show Leaf 
Shows or hides the leaf     left 45  45 degree left turn 

Move Leaf 

Moves the leaf     Right 90  90 degree right turn 
Clear Step  
Clears the selected step      Left 90  90 degree left turn 
Clear All  
Clears all steps       



  • Can you create a plan for a path using fewer steps?
  • Can you create a plan for the shortest possible path? 

Getting Started in the Classroom with Navigation Activities

Prior to engaging in this activity, students should experience classroom navigation activities—for instance, drawing simple pictures or diagrams to represent paths they might walk, such as a path from a table to the door and later from their classroom to the playground. They can write a set of directions for a classmate to move around the room, test the directions, and talk about the results and any modifications that should be made to their plan. Such activities help students make their ideas about navigation explicit. Through these experiences, students use mathematics in understanding space when they say, "Turn right" or "Go forward eight steps." Using computer activities such as Hiding Ladybug can support, extend, and connect the development of these mathematical ideas.

What Students Experience As They Carry Out Navigation Activities

In a computer environment, students can make on-screen records of their navigational paths. They can create plans, focus on relationships between different representations of paths, create scripts so that procedures can be repeated, and make multiple attempts quickly and efficiently. They can analyze the plans and change them so that they work. In performing these tasks, students are increasing their understandings of location and movement in space as they use various related mathematical concepts in geometry and measurement to solve different problems. Writing sequences of directions for computer environments encourages students to visualize spatial relationships and enables the teacher to see what they are thinking.

Take Time to Reflect 

  • What gross-motor experiences could teachers give students that would help them plan paths for the ladybug?
  • How can conversations about the paths help students learn to predict the outcome of their plans?
  • What mathematical ideas can be built on what the students learn in this activity? 

Also See: 

  • 4.3  Learning Geometry and Measurement Concepts by Creating Paths and Navigating Mazes

    • 4.3.2  Making Rectangles
    • 4.3.3  Ladybug Mazes
    • 4.3  Extension

Having trouble running our Java apps in e-Examples? Get help here.

Your feedback is important! Comments or concerns regarding the content of this page may be sent to Thank you.