In third grade, students (and Common Core) just barely touch on the attributes of geometry, yet it seems on every practice test I find, there are still tons of questions related to them. While I know that in later grades they get in depth a bit more, I like to make sure I am covering my bases and trying to help the characteristics stick a little in their memories. Here are ten ways to help you review the attributes of those geometric shapes, without going insane! 🙂
Ah, geometry. I loved math, but hated geometry for some reason. And by now, if you are a regular reader, you know that when I hated something when I was younger, I seriously looked for ways to make it fun to teach (otherwise, if I can’t make it through the day, how were they going to make it through the day?).
Here are 10 ways to review the attributes of geometric shapes, but in no particular order, and of course there are more ideas out there floating around!
1.) Play Pictionary! Have one student read the attributes and draw it. The other students have to guess the specific name. When they guess the name, then have them say they knew that it was a _(name)_ because they noticed it had _(attribute)_.
2.) Create Polygons with Personalities. My friend Jodi over at Clutterfree Classroom has a great literacy and math activity where the students give character traits to polygons and write about it. This makes a great bulletin board display.
3.) Manipulate Shapes with Straws. Using straws and pipe cleaners or straws and twisty ties, create shapes. I push a twisty tie inside a straw and then on the other end of that same twisty tie I add another straw. I bend it to create an “angle.” Keep doing so until you have the shape you desire. For this picture below, I had picked up coffee stirrers instead and cut them in half. Milk straws work well also. I have also gone to the deli/produce section of a store and asked for the twisty-ties. This is really nice to create a square and then “angle” it to help students see the relationship with a rhombus and so on.
4.) Have a Geo-Hunt. Have students go on a scavenger hunt around your classroom and look for the various polygons. As they find it they mark it down in one column what item they found and in the other column its characteristics. Then after they are done, they create a graph noting which polygon was the most popular. If desired, create a large graph as a whole class and discuss each.
5.) Create these really cool and colorful foldables. I love foldables. (If you have ever purchased any of my products you know there is almost always at least one foldable in everything I do. This is no exception. This is from my area and perimeter math workshop unit.) Students draw a picture on the outside and list the attributes on the inside.
6.) Play Go Fish. In the middle of a lesson or activity, randomly have a student draw a slip of paper out of a bag that asks a question such as, “what are the attributes of a quadrilateral?” This will keep them on their toes because they have no idea when it’s coming or who you’ll select. If you add in a treat if answered correctly, that could also add to the fun. (That’s completely up to you!)
7.) Play Bingo. On the board write the name of the polygons. Students fold a piece of paper into 9 boxes (or whatever you choose) and create a free space. They enter randomly 8 other names of the polygons. You draw a polygon’s name and read off the attributes. Students then mark the spot on their bingo board. Whoever has 3 in a row wins!
8.) Sort Polygons. Take pictures of different polygons and sort them into groups based on their attributes. They can be classified by specific type of quadrilaterals, by regular polygon or irregular polygon, so on. If you don’t feel like making them and want to save time, I offer a polygon sort in my store for a reasonable price.
9.) Play the Game Heart breaker. Students love a good team building game with a challenge. Play the heart breaker game where students can review the different polygons and their attributes.
10.) Critical Thinking Activity. Get students thinking outside the box with this “Are We Related?” game. Students work in groups of 4 but cannot talk. They must find 4 cards of polygons that they feel are related and justify why on their recording sheet. The thing is, they don’t always get the card they want so they have to find a way to make it related – that’s the critical thinking piece! My students love this game and always want to play it. This is also found in my Area and Perimeter Math Workshop Unit, but you could easily create it yourself.