Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#3597. Quadrilaterals?!?

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Dec 2 08:41:44 PST 2005 by Candice Bryant (
Crosswell Elementary, Easly, SC
Materials Required: poster board, markers
Activity Time: 30 mins
Concepts Taught: the student will name and describe the characteristics of polygons and quadrilaterals

Prior Learning Needed:
-how to make a Venn diagram
Important Vocabulary:

- On poster board make a Venn diagram for each group
- Label each Venn diagram with one of the following pairs of quadrilaterals
- Square v. Rectangle
- Square v Rhombus
- Trapezoid v. parallelogram
- Rectangle v parallelogram
- Rhombus v parallelogram
(these pairs are arranged purposely for discovery of important concepts)

1. Discuss the meaning of a quadrilateral and name the different types

2. Divide the students into groups of four

3. Give each group a poster with a Venn diagram on it

4. On another sheet of paper they will need to make a chart and list the characteristics of each quadrilateral that they are assigned to compare. Then they need to draw a line connecting the characteristics that are the same in both lists. Explain to them that the ones connected will be the characteristics that they will place in the middle section of the Venn diagram.

5. They will complete their Venn diagram by putting the characteristics that are specific to each quadrilateral in the diagram and then listing the characteristics that they have in common in the center section.

6. When students are finished go over their discoveries as a class discussing these questions:
-Can a shape ever fit in more than one category?
yes, for example: a square is also a rectangle or a rhombus, but a rhombus or rectangle is not always a square; rectangle, square and a rhombus are all parallelograms

-Which figure is not a parallelogram?
Trapezoid, because parallelograms have two pairs of equal sides and a trapezoid only has one pair

-What is the difference between a rhombus and parallelogram?
Rhombus has four equal sides while a parallelogram has two pairs of equal sides. A parallelogram can be a rhombus but not always, while a rhombus is always a parallelogram.

- What makes a quadrilateral what is?
It is a polygon with four straight sides

Students will draw various examples of quadrilaterals. Then they will list all of the labels possible for each quadrilateral.