## Polygons and Solid Figures: When Students Ask

**Why should I bother learning this?**

This is an excellent opportunity to have your students look around the classroom, school, or community for examples of polygons and solid figures. Encourage them to imagine a workspace or a play area without certain polygons and solid figures. What would the world look like with only squares and cubes?**Is a square the same as a rectangle?**

Many students interchange the terms*square*and*rectangle.*List the properties of a square and rectangle side by side on the board so students can see the distinction between the two figures. Emphasize that a square is a special kind of rectangle.**Isn't a four-sided polygon called a rectangle?**

Tell students that a four-sided polygon is called a quadrilateral. A rectangle is a specific kind of quadrilateral. If students don't know the term quadrilateral, explain that the prefix*quad-*means “four.” To enhance students' understanding, show them many different quadrilaterals that are not rectangles.**How does understanding polygons help me learn about solid figures?**

Explain to students that the faces of some solid figures are polygons, so knowing polygons will help them identify solid figures. For example, all faces of a cube are squares and most of the faces of a pyramid are triangles.**Are the faces of rectangular prisms always rectangles?**

Your students can discover the answer to this question by constructing a rectangular prism from the net at the bottom of page 349 in the student book. Have volunteers draw nets to construct other rectangular prisms.**Will I ever need to find perimeter and area anywhere besides math class?**

Use this question to prompt a class discussion. Start with questions such as

*How could you find the amount of fencing needed to go around a playground? How could you find the amount of carpet needed to cover the floor of a room?*