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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#3106. Teaching Polygons using Technology

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Apr 25 07:30:17 PDT 2004 by Derek Orton (
Wilson Elementary School, Racine, United States of America
Materials Required: Computers,Powerpoint,Microsoft Word, Microsoft Paint,Greedy Triangle Book, Paper
Activity Time: Varies with each lesson
Concepts Taught: Polygons/Geometry/Writing/Group Work

Lesson: Identifying and Comparing Polygons

Teacher: Mr. Orton
Subject: Math
Grade Level: Third
Duration: Seven Days

Lesson Outcome Statement: Students will classify polygons by their characteristics (number of sides, number of angles, names). The children will also compare and contrast polygons based upon their similarities and differences. Lastly, students will apply their knowledge about polygons to create the following artifacts using technology: a polygon picture, a polygon graph, polygon patterns, a polygon story, and a polygon PowerPoint presentation.

Math Curriculum Standards Addressed:
C.4.1 Describe two-and three-dimensional figures (e.g., circles, polygons, trapezoids, prisms, spheres) by
• naming them
• comparing, sorting, and classifying them
• drawing and constructing physical models to specifications
• identifying their properties (e.g., number of sides or faces, two- or three-dimensionality, equal sides, number of right angles)
• predicting the results of combining or subdividing two-dimensional figures
• explaining how these figures are related to objects in the environment
C.4.2 Use physical materials and motion geometry (such as slides, flips, and turns) to identify properties and relationships, including but not limited to
• symmetry
• congruence
• similarity
Technology Standards Addressed:
• Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
• Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
• Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
• Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
• Students understand the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology.
• Students practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
Teacher Procedures:
Day 1 Introduce Polygons by name and characteristic
1. Show students each of the polygons that we will be studying from triangle to octagon.
2. Ask students to identify how many angles and sides each polygon has and record findings on a chart.
3. Ask students to identify examples of each polygon in the room and in real life.
4. Demonstrate the use of Microsoft Paint to create a picture using the polygons we talked about.
5. Students work in groups of two to construct a picture using Microsoft Paint. Picture must have at least four polygons included.
Day 2 Review all Polygons from Day 1 by showing our Paint projects using a projector.
1. Each group reviews their peers presentations and records how many and what kind of polygons were used. (peer evaluation)
2. Praise and reward groups that follow directions and displayed creativity in their Paint presentation.
3. Demonstrate how to design and create a table using Microsoft Word. Have a table already designed about polygons.
4. Ask students if we could design a table about Polygons. Brainstorm all ideas with students and record their suggestions on the chalkboard.
5. Students will create a table of polygons that displays the following information: name, how many sides, how many angles, where it's used, place it's used in the classroom, prefix and meaning.
Day 3: Read the story The Greedy Triangle and ask students comprehension questions about how the triangle is used and why it wants to change.
1. Ask students about why the triangle wanted to change and map out on the computer slide on the projector the changing shapes the Triangle went through.
2. Play around the world using polygon cards. Ask different questions like: What is the called? , How many angles does this have? , How many sides does this have? , What does the prefix Tri means?
3. Poll students to determine what their favorite shape is and why. Record results on white board or chalkboard.
4. Group students together with others who like the same shape.
5. Students will work in groups to write a story about their favorite shape and what problems it has during a normal day in school, at home, and everywhere. Students must include two changes that the shape decides to make and the reasons for those changes.
6. Students will create and type their group's story using Microsoft Word. Projects must include pictures of their polygons and how they change throughout the story.
Day 4: Show students different patterns using polygons on a slide show and discuss how patterns can be developed using Microsoft Word Program.
1. Show students examples of polygon patterns and during each pattern have students name the shapes and finish the patterns.
2. Using Microsoft Word create new patterns based upon ideas from students in the classroom.
3. Students will work in groups to create their own unfinished pattern for their classmates to complete using Microsoft Word.
4. Groups will print and trade their unfinished patterns with other groups and solve them as quickly as possible.
5. Students will present and read their stories from the previous class period to the class using a projector displaying their typed stories.
6. Each student will evaluate what they like and disliked about each group's story. They will also give each group the grade they think they deserve.
7. Students who finish early will play The Polygon Game and practice their drawing and naming skills about polygons.
Day 5,6 Introduce how to use Microsoft PowerPoint and show students how to design a simple show complete with titles, pictures, animation, and sound. Have a sample PowerPoint show created about your favorite shape and the other shapes that it meets. Students will use this program to create a presentation about their favorite polygon.
1. Students design a PowerPoint presentation about their favorite shape in groups of three.
2. Students work collaboratively to make a title page, story, and conclusion about their shape and what occurs to it during a normal day at school, at home, or anywhere that they wish.
3. Teacher will monitor groups' presentations giving oral feedback and suggestions during every step of the process. When problems or questions arise that effect multiple groups, the teacher will stop the whole class to demonstrate possible solutions or troubleshooting on the projector slide.
Day 7 Presentation day for the PowerPoint projects
1. Each group takes turns to present their presentations.
2. Each student has a peer evaluation form to assess each group's work. They assign point based upon if the group completed each required part of the project. In addition, students will also assess their own group's performance.
3. Students are encouraged to ask brief questions at the conclusion of each group's presentation. Each group should be ready to answer any questions.
4. The teacher evaluates each group while presentations are being given.
5. If time remains after group presentations are completed, students will finish or begin another round of The Polygon Game. Students can track each others progress using charts.
Materials and Needed Resources
• Computers
• Paper
• Microsoft Word, Paint, PowerPoint Programs
• Polygon cards
• Disks to save projects
• Book entitled The Greedy Triangle
• Assessment Forms for Students, Teachers, Self-Evaluations
• Extra pencils and erasers
• Model Paint Project, PowerPoint Presentation, Story about Favorite shape
• Polygon game with rules
• Bucket full of Polygon pieces to play The Polygon Game / pattern designing
• Rubrics created for Paint project, Word table, Word story, and PowerPoint presentation.
Student assessment: Students will be assessed using the following rubrics to determine if they: follow directions given by the teacher for each project, demonstrate their knowledge of polygons and their characteristics, work cooperatively with partners and groups during activities, compare and contrast different polygons, design and create the assigned technology projects within each lesson. The individual rubrics for each lesson are provided after this lesson plan. Students and teacher will use the same form to assess each other and also themselves based upon their performance. The breakdown for how the assessment works for each project is: 70 percent is from teacher evaluation, 20 percent is from peer evaluation, and 10 percent is from self-evaluation.
Extension and Enrichment Activities: Students can use the Internet and discover new patterns and facts about the polygons we have learned about as well as many others that we have not. They can present their findings to the class in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Also students can create a chart with websites that they found to be interesting. Students may also continue designing their own patterns using the computer. They can keep observing where they notice polygons being used in their world. Lastly, students can continue to write and publish stories about polygons and how those shapes are used in our world.