Maths Zines

What is a zine?

A zine (pronounced zeen, short for magazine) is a method of self publishing with the goal of sharing ideas, connecting with others, and expressing yourself, rather than profit.

The idea originated from young black artists in 1920s America with what was called “little magazines”. The word Zine was then made popular by the Science Fiction community in the 1930s, and the concept had a revival in the 1970s UK Punk scene.

How to run a zine activity in the classroom


Like most things in life, the creation of zines takes longer than you think. Most pupils will need at least 1.5 - 3 hours to create a Maths Zine they are proud of. This cannot be done in a single lesson, so will need to be a series of lessons, or homework.

It is a good idea that the front cover should be done last, to help pupils with their time management.

No Time, No Resources, No Problem

At its very basic, if you walk into the classroom with 30 blank pieces of paper and the joy of Maths in your heart - you can make this lesson worthwhile!

  • Watch the folding video,

  • Fold the zine together,

  • Have a 10 minute planning session using the Maths Zine Prompt Presentation

  • Enjoy Maths in a creative way!

Collaborative Zine Series

Pupils work in groups to create a series of interlinked zines

e.g. if the topic is Factorising there can be zines on each of:

  • Single Bracket Factorising

  • Difference of Two Squares

  • Double Bracket

  • Quadratic Formula

This creates a positive interdependence within the group, and can aid with differentiation within mixed ability groups.

The zines can then be photocopied and exchanged amongst the group to create a revision resource which the pupils have ownership of.

Zine Swap

Pupils create their own Maths Zine. You then collect and photocopy the zines, then host a zine swap where pupils can keep their master copy and trade their photocopies for other people’s Maths Zines.

Printing and Copying Tips

  • Many printers and photocopiers cannot print all the way from edge to edge. Encourage pupils to leave a 1cm gap around the edge of the page so work is not cut off when photocopied or printed. If the Maths Zines are a one of a kind work of art which doesn’t need to be reproduced then go ahead and load it up like an edge to edge pizza with Maths goodness!

  • Set printers to “fill entire page” to ensure the folding areas line up with the page.

  • If you can, it is a good idea to do one test print and fold, to make sure the printer has not scaled the zine in an unusual way.

  • If you plan to photocopy for a zine swap etc. it is much easier if the pages aren’t folded beforehand. You can gather in the zines from the class, stack them up and run it through the top feed of a photocopier to get 2 or 3 of each pupil’s zine.


  • Zines can be drawn bigger and then reduced during photocopying - or just make a bigger zine!

  • Zines can be created on the computer using zine templates

  • A collage style can be used where pre-printed pieces of info can be glued onto the pages along with cutouts from magazines etc.

Maths Zine Ideas

  • Explainers/revision resources, summarise a topic in your own words

  • Work related, e.g. “The Maths of a Hairdresser”, “Why My Client’s Hair Fell Off: A Story of Ratio”

  • Personal experience, describe overcoming maths anxiety, share a love of maths

Linking to the curriculum

The content of the Maths Zine can link to any of the Maths Es and Os, but don’t forget that this activity also lends itself to Literacy, Art, Design, ICT, and HWB outcomes.

To keep pupils focussed on the curricular aspects you can include success criteria such as:

  • must include two worked examples

  • must include the words “adjacent”, “opposite”, and “hypotenuse”

  • must include an equation you created yourself, with answer

  • etc.

Reaching beyond the classroom

  • Is there a local cafe, shop or library who might have some of the Maths Zines available for customers to read and take away?

  • Could there be a Maths Zine exchange between you and another school?

  • Could there be a Maths Zine showcase during parents evenings for them to read whilst they wait?

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