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