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Identify the Missing Symbol to Complete the 9 Box Grid

In this worksheet, students will find the missing symbol to complete a grid of nine boxes. It will develop their ability to find and follow patterns in shapes and symbols.

'Identify the Missing Symbol to Complete the 9 Box Grid' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Spatial and Non-Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:  Complete the Grid

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

It’s time to be a puzzle perfecter!

 

In these questions, we have been given a grid and we need to work out the missing puzzle piece.

Grids can follow a horizontal pattern which goes across or a vertical pattern which goes up or down.

To find the missing puzzle piece, we first need to think about what the pattern might be.

 

Here are some example patterns and how they change in the grid:

 

Pattern Example Grid
 Number of shapes increases.
 Shading gets lighter/darker. 
 Size of the image increases/decreases.
 The image rotates (turns).
 The number of sides of the shapes in the image increases. 

 

 

Take a look at this example:

 

Which of the following images would complete this grid?
a)         b)         c)         d) 

 

The pattern in this case is horizontal.

In each square of the grid, the number of sides of each shape increases by one each time. So the answer is c!

 

 

It’s now your turn to find the missing puzzle piece in grids.

Remember to decide if it is horizontal or vertical when working out what the pattern is. Good luck puzzle champ!


Pssstt!! Here’s a handy hint to help you reach superstar status:

Always rule out any obviously incorrect answers.

Now let's look at a 3 by 3 grid, with 9 squares in total. 

In the grid below, the middle square is empty. 

What qualities do you think the image in this missing square will have? 

First, choose the number of circles and then the colour which you think the missing image will have.

 

Using your observations from the previous question, complete the grid below with the image that best fits. 

 





Identify ALL the reasons below why option d is NOT the best fit here. 

 

        d) 

 

The cirlces are the wrong size.

The circles are too close together.

The circles are too far apart.

The circles are aligned to the top of the square.

Look at the grid below, the bottom left square is empty. 

What attributes do you think the image in this missing square will have? 

Choose first the number of triangles and then the colour which you think the missing image will have.

 

The cirlces are the wrong size.

The circles are too close together.

The circles are too far apart.

The circles are aligned to the top of the square.

Based on your observations, select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 





Match the statements which explain WHY the options are incorrect with the correct image below. 

 

​​

Column A

Column B

');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">a)
The triangle is the wrong colour.
');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">b)
The triangles are the wrong number, colour and ali...
');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">d)
The triangles are the wrong number and colour.

Hopefully, you are feeling more confident now looking at patterns in a 3 by 3 grid. 

Now let's look at some more complex questions. 

Select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 





Select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 

  

 

 

 




Match the statements which explain WHY the options are incorrect with the correct image below. 

 

 

 

 

 

Column A

Column B

');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">a)
The black triangle is positioned incorrectly.
');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">b)
​​​The image is not a reflection of the squa...

Select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 





  • Question 1

Now let's look at a 3 by 3 grid, with 9 squares in total. 

In the grid below, the middle square is empty. 

What qualities do you think the image in this missing square will have? 

First, choose the number of circles and then the colour which you think the missing image will have.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do puzzle detective? Did you select two grey circles as your matching pair? This is the correct choice here. Now try the following question and see if you can pick out the correct answer.
  • Question 2

Using your observations from the previous question, complete the grid below with the image that best fits. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Ah, it wasn't so easy this time, as all the options were two grey squares! So how did you go about choosing the best fit? Did you look at the size and position of the circles in the box? Only option b has circles of the correct size which are centrally placed vertically and which have a circle at either side of the box. This matches the pattern of the rest of the grid. Let's try and prove our answers further now...
  • Question 3

Identify ALL the reasons below why option d is NOT the best fit here. 

 

        d) 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The circles are too close together.
The circles are aligned to the top of the square.
EDDIE SAYS
Did your detective's eyes spot that option d was not the best fit in this grid? The circles are closer together than in the other central squares of the grid and they are aligned towards the top edge rather than centrally. Did you notice in the grid that the black circles in the top row align towards the top, the grey centrally, and the white towards the bottom? Top marks if you spotted this detective!
  • Question 4

Look at the grid below, the bottom left square is empty. 

What attributes do you think the image in this missing square will have? 

Choose first the number of triangles and then the colour which you think the missing image will have.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you select three grey triangles as your matching pair? This is the correct choice here. Now try the following question and see if you can use your detective's magnifying glass to pick out the correct answer visually.
  • Question 5

Based on your observations, select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Good effort puzzle detective! The correct answer here is option a. Did you find this one easier? Option a is the only choice which presents the three triangles in a diagonal from top left to bottom right, which matches with the other images in the bottom row of the grid.
  • Question 6

Match the statements which explain WHY the options are incorrect with the correct image below. 

 

​​

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">a)
The triangles are the wrong numbe...
');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">b)
The triangle is the wrong colour.
');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">d)
The triangles are the wrong numbe...
EDDIE SAYS
Were you able to match all of these reasons to their incorrect option? Remember that alignment means where the shapes are positioned within the grid square. In option b they were aligned to the bottom, but the correct answer aligned them centrally.
  • Question 7

Hopefully, you are feeling more confident now looking at patterns in a 3 by 3 grid. 

Now let's look at some more complex questions. 

Select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The correct answer here is option c. Have you ever heard of sudoku before? This grid works like one of these. Did you notice that in each row and column there is a box with 1, 2 and 3 shapes in it? One of them is always grey, one is white, and one is black. The shapes in the top row are aligned to the top, those in the middle row are in the middle, and those in the bottom row are at the bottom. If we put all this information together, we reach the correct answer. Now let's move on to explain why the other options are incorrect...
  • Question 8

Select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 

  

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
As the number of images in a grid increases, it can be really tricky to follow exactly what is happening. If your detective's eyes start to get confused by all of the shapes, take one row or column at a time and work out the pattern you find there. Let's say what we see... On the top left, we have 3 diagonal triangles facing upwards, 2 are white and 1 is black. The black triangles are moving position in each square as we move from left to right in the row. In the second row, we can see that the images from the row above have been reflected in the x axis, so the triangles are now facing downwards. The black triangle remains in exactly the same position as it was found in the rows above and below it. If we put all this information together, we reach the correct answer, option c. We know that the black triangle will be in the bottom left position in the diagonal and the triangles will be facing downwards. Now let's move on to explain why the other options are incorrect...
  • Question 9

Match the statements which explain WHY the options are incorrect with the correct image below. 

 

 

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">a)
​​​The image is not a refle...
');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">b)
The black triangle is positioned ...
EDDIE SAYS
Were you able to match all of these reasons to their incorrect option? Did your super detective's eyes spot that one of the triangles was facing a different direction in option d?
  • Question 10

Select the image which you think best completes the grid below. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this one grid detective? Did you spot that we needed to find a white star with three grey boxes to complete the pattern? Each row has one grey star, one white star and one black star, all centrally aligned. The number of squares accompanying the star was decreasing from left to right. The colour of the squares was different in each row. So the option which is the best fit is b. Remember to say what you see, write it down and you'll be mastering these tricky grids in no time!
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