Grade 3
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Tips and Tricks

Identifying and Classifying Polygons

  • A great way to demonstrate polygons is with the use of an overhead projector and overhead attribute blocks. Colored transparencies can be cut into different polygons if commercial overhead blocks are not available.

  • Construct a polygon bulletin board in the classroom. After a specific polygon has been introduced, add the shape to the board. Be sure to include properties of each polygon below the figure. For example,

  • Include geometry vocabulary in class spelling tests. This will allow students to become more familiar with terms such as isosceles, polygon, equilateral, angle, and congruent. Have students use the terms in both oral and written sentences.

  • Have students make polygon flash cards. Have them draw the polygon on the front and add any information needed to identify it (lengths of sides, for example). Then have them write the name of the polygon on the back. Have students practice in pairs with the cards, or have them take the cards home to practice.

  • Students will need rulers as they work with polygons. This will encourage them to make precise drawings.

  • Geometry concentration is a fun way to learn polygons. Draw a specific polygon on one side of an index card. Write the corresponding name for the polygon on another index card. Do this for ten specific polygons. Turn all of the cards face down. A child turns up two cards. The goal is to match the word with the shape. If the cards do not match, the student turns the cards back over and the next student continues. If the student finds a match, they keep the cards and go again. The student with the most cards is the winner.

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