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:
Then, students cut and glued the classification chart into their math journals.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- All parallelograms are rectangles.
- Rectangles are always parallelograms.
- All squares are rectangles.
- 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!