When it comes to teaching Geometry, it seems like it would be easy to just teach the vocabulary and characteristics of quadrilaterals. The quadrilateral hierarchy, however, is a bit more complex for students. I’ve found that adding a creative project for this skill has allowed my students to better demonstrate their understanding of the various quadrilaterals and their attributes.
Our unit on geometry ends with the Quadrilateral Design Project. In this, students must think of a space (place) they would like to design, but all of the components of the design MUST be a quadrilateral. They sketch out a rough draft of their idea and then complete the final copy on centimeter grid paper. This is helpful because it makes it easier to draw straight lines and organize the design neatly.
The other component of the project has them create a “key” for their drawing. They must write down the five quadrilaterals required in their design: trapezoid, parallelogram, rectangle, rhombus, and square. First, students list the properties of each of the quadrilaterals. Then, they draw the symbols of those quadrilaterals from their design in the quadrilateral category they belong to, along with a label as to what the shape represents in the photo. For example, if they have designed a classroom and they drew squares for desks, they would draw one of those in the square category and label it “desk”.
Not only do kids love creating the designs and showing their creativity, but they also get more practice with classifying quadrilaterals based on their attributes.