Geometry for 3rd Graders

geometry for 3rd graders

Geometry for 3rd graders is such a fun unit to teach, because it easily lends itself to hands-on activities. In my Third Grade Geometry Unit there is a major emphasis are the properties and features of quadrilaterals.

Like most geometry for 3rd graders resources, there is a heavy emphasis on vocabulary. In the unit, I included a vocabulary booklet, with all required key terms. You can print all of the vocabulary words or just the words you want to focus on. I like having students refer to the vocabulary books on a regular basis.

geometry for 3rd graders

After I’ve taught the basic vocabulary of symmetry, angles, and lines, I teach types of polygons. I like begin by reading Grandfather Tang’s Journey and have students experiment building different shapes with tangrams. I encourage students to embrace the struggle in this activity, because even after teaching this lesson many years, I still can’t build all of the shapes. The purpose of the lesson is in the process and the exploration, not an end result.

Another great geometry for 3rd graders lesson is this activity where students go on a Geometry Scavenger hunt. This always makes learning so much more relevant and memorable to students. You can even have students complete this digitally.

Irregular Polygons

Irregular polygons tend to confuse students, but they’re useful in making sure students truly understand the properties of polygons. In this activity students draw irregular polygons, and it forces students to think outside the box and not to rely on traditional images they have memorized. Instead, students have to focus on the attributes of each shape.

geometry for 3rd graders

To help students further develop their geometric understanding, students make geometric observations, where they choose two shapes and list what the shapes have in common and the differences between the shapes. Once again, students are required to think about the properties of quadrilaterals, and I like that there is an element of choice in the assignment.

A similar task can be completed where students describe quadrilaterals.

Students also enjoy these geometry riddles, which are always challenging! They’re fun, because students can come up with the criteria for the riddle.

Teaching geometry for 3rd graders almost always incorporates a lot of sorts. You can include both open and closed sorts to drive home geometry concepts. The types of angles sort below is an closed sort but could be modified into an open sort.
In the geometry unit, there are six sorts and worksheets that dive deeply into the properties of quadrilaterals. Some of the sorts are for basic concepts such as types of lines (parallel, perpendicular, line, and line segment) and types of angles (acute, right, and obtuse). Even though these terms are not necessarily stated in the Common Core Standards, I still teach them, because they allow students to better understand the properties of quadrilaterals.

Hierarchy of Quadrilaterals

The hierarchy of quadrilaterals is a complex concept for students. This graphic organizer allows students to see how shapes can have more than one name and which name is the most specific, which is essential for teaching geometry for 3rd graders.

Geometry for 3rd Graders Games

Students love playing I Have, Who Has game, which is a great review of geometry vocabulary. It is also a great way to see who is listening and paying attention. To play, give each student a card (some students may need two cards). Select one student to begin the game by reading their card. Without prompting, the student who has the answer to the question should immediately begin reading their card. The goal is to move through all of the cards as quickly as possible.
geometry for 3rd graders

Geometry Concentration

Students also play Geometry Concentration for an additional vocabulary review as a math center game. Students flip all of the cards over and take turns turning over two cards at a time. If a student chooses two cards that are a match, they get to keep both cards and choose again. If the cards are not a match, it is the next player’s turn.
geometry for 3rd graders

Geometry Culminating Task

One of my absolute favorite activities is the Geometry Zoo, where students create a zoo based on different geometric shapes.
geometry for 3rd graders

Geometry For 3rd Graders – Task Cards

Students continuously review through geometry task cards (included in the unit) and other games such as geometry riddles.
geometry for 3rd graders
You can download this little quadrilaterals worksheet here! It’s great for a quick formative assessment and helps students pay attention to the attributes to different quadrilaterals.

5 thoughts on “Geometry for 3rd Graders”

  1. Andra Ammanniti

    Hi! I love your geometry unit and would like to use the graphic organizer you posted. Can you please tell me where I can find that page?

  2. Good Morning,
    I really appreciate all the time, detail and thought you put into your activities. I absolutely LOVE activities that make my students brain work hard or harder. (LOL) I love hearing my students say man that was a hard activity but it was soooo fun. Thank you again for all your work!! (especially for the free materials) 😉

    Amanda Grammer
    4th Grade Texas Teacher

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