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Classifying Polygons with Math Foldables

Fun Activities for Teaching Polygons

Fun Activities for Teaching Polygons

Have you been looking for some fun activities for teaching polygons? Classifying polygons with math foldables is one of the best ways to help students understand the properties of polygons. By using 2D shape foldables in interactive notebooks or even on a piece of poster paper, students have a hands-on opportunity to explore the attributes of each shape. In my opinion, hands-on = deeper levels of learning.

Light bulb moment! After watching my fifth grade students struggle with 2D shape characteristics for years, I finally decided to try a different approach. This one involving classifying polygons with math foldables. Since my students loved foldables, I figured, “Why not try it with geometry?

Fun Activities for Teaching Polygons - Interactive Foldables

Step 1: Start with a Classification Chart

 First, I started with teaching the 5 classifications of quadrilaterals: 

  • parallelogram
  • rectangle
  • square
  • rhombus
  • trapezoid

Then, students cut and glued the classification chart into their math journals. 

2D Shape Classification Chart

Step 2: Add Information to Quadrilateral Foldables

Next, we cut out and folded the 5 different quadrilateral foldables. I was able to show the foldable sheet (in pdf format) on the Smartboard (love technology!). On the board, I modeled how to fill in the information on each foldable. After that, the students worked in small groups, using their classification charts to finish filling in the information and labeling the rest of the quadrilaterals. 

(You can find ready-made polygon foldables HERE.)

2D Shape Foldables

Step 3: Color and Arrange

After they had done all the labeling, the students had fun coloring and arranging their quadrilateral foldables into their Math journals. On the following days, we repeated the process for other polygons, including triangles.

Quadrilateral Foldables

Step 4: Refer to Notebooks Often

Finally, it is important to allow students frequent opportunities to refer to the foldables. This process allows students the chance to build confidence. They also gain a deeper understanding of 2D shapes attributes!

Polygon Foldables

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

Now my students can identify and classify quadrilaterals and other polygons. There is also an added bonus. They can answer the hard questions! For example, many students can now correctly state if these statements are true or false:

  1. All parallelograms are rectangles.
  2. Rectangles are always parallelograms.
  3. All squares are rectangles.
  4. Rectangles are never squares. 

Can you answer these questions, too?

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that not only were the 2D shapes foldable activities fun for my students, but they were also a HUGE boost to their learning!

More Fun Math Ideas:

Here are also some other blog posts filled with great ideas for engaging your students in math activities that can make a big difference:

Check Out These 2D Shape Activities!

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Teaching Polygons
Shelly Rees

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11 Comments

  • Lopez Land Learners March 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Great activity.. foldables work for just about anything and my students love them!! The link opens up Chinese New Year Theme Books… just an FYI 🙂

    Susan
    LopezLandLearners

  • Shelly Rees March 2, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Susan,
    Thank you so much for letting me know about the link. That was definitely strange….I have no idea how I did that! I've never even seen the Chinese New Year Theme Books before, but they were kind of cute …. 😉 It's all fixed now (hopefully)! Once again, thanks!

  • Danessa Kemerling February 28, 2015 at 6:35 am

    I love this! Do you have a link for it?

  • Danessa Kemerling February 28, 2015 at 6:35 am

    I love this! Do you have a link for it?

  • Math Giraffe July 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I love this! Both your triangles and quadrilaterals classifications look so great in this notebook format. And those True/False questions are SO important for critical thinking. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    -Brigid

    • Shelly Rees April 26, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Thanks so much, Brigid! I really appreciate your input!

  • Christine April 26, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Love these. Can u share your pdf?

  • A Hutchison September 6, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    I really wanted to use this resource for doing foldables with quadrilaterals. The information all says that there are quadrilaterals in the packet and when I downloaded I only have the pdf for for 3 (square, REctangle and trapezoid) Am I missing something?

    • Shelly Rees September 10, 2020 at 10:12 am

      Hi! On pages 8 and 9 of the PDF, you should find 5 different quadrilateral foldables: parallelogram, rectangle, square, rhombus, and trapezoid.
      Thanks for the question!

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    I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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