Education Technology

Tower of Hanoi

Activity Overview

Students explore the relationship between the number of discs and moves required to solve the classic “Tower of Hanoi” problem. The TI-Nspire file contains an interactive model produced by Andy Kemp.  The interactive model allows you to change the number of disks and automatically record the total number of moves allowing students to focus on solving the problem and identifying patterns. The activity also includes a degree of scaffolding to help student identify and understand the nature of the geometric recursive relationship between the number of disks and the number of moves.


  • Generation of a geometric recursion using a spreadsheet
  • Use the calculator to generate the formula and graph a Geometric Sequence
  • Use accurate mathematical notation.


  • Geometric
  • Recursion
  • Term

About the Lesson

Legend has it that the world will end when the puzzle is complete. Well, the original puzzle consisted of 64 disks and the monks in the legendary civilization only moved one disk per day. With this in mind, according to the legend, when will the world end? Solve the puzzle, determine the rule for the Geometric, recursion relationship and calculate the number of days required to complete the 64 disk problem.