Quadrilateral Activity 

Teacher Lesson Plan

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This activity is aligned to NCTM Standards - Grades 6-8: Geometry, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Proof, and Communication and to California Mathematics Standards Grade 7: Measurement and Geometry #1.2 and Mathematical Reasoning #1.1, 3.2, 3.3.

Glencoe's Interactive Mathematics text provides an activity (Units 7-12, p. 4) called Quad Squad.

The activity is kinesthetic. It is designed to develop group interaction and cooperation while working with constructing a large parallelogram, square, rectangle, rhombus and trapezoid using rope held by the participants.

Introducing the activity

    Sponge activity:

    Each group of 4 students is given a Shapes Quiz. Allow enough time for groups to try to match the names to the correct shape. Review the answers using the overhead projector and a transparency of the Shapes Quiz (in color).
Using Manipulatives - small scale

    Warm up activity - Using Pattern Blocks:

    The lesson plan for this activity can be found here:

Using Manipulatives - large scale

    Setting up the main activity:

    Once the vocabulary has been reviewed, each group reads the instructions (1) through (4) on page 4 of Glencoe's Interactive Mathematics text. The teacher checks for understanding and answers any questions. Each group is given rope and blindfolds and the class walks out to the quad. As groups try to create the shapes, the teacher circulates among them to monitor the activity.

Written Report

    Processing the activity:

    After completing the activity the students return to the classroom and respond to the questions at the bottom of page 4 of Glencoe's Interactive Mathematics text. An alternative idea would be to encourage the students to discuss the responses as a group but have each individual student write their own responses.


The main objective of this activity is as a team builder, however, it could also be used as an introduction to working with quadrilaterals including construction, area, perimeter, etc. Here are some interesting resource ideas:

    Two Dimensions:

Dr. Math Archives:
Is a Square a Rhombus?
Quadrilateral Area Given Side Lengths
Polygon Angles
Definition of a Trapezoid
Naming Polygons
The Six Quadrilaterals
Who Was Hero (Heron)?
Guess the Quadrilateral - Geometry Problem of the Week, April 18-22, 1994
The Mystery Polygon - Geometry Problem of the Week, February 24-28, 1997

Japanese Middle School Geometry Java Applets

Over 90 applets in the following categories: Angles and Parallel Lines; Congruent Figures and Triangles; Quadrilaterals and Conservation of Area; Similar Figures; Circles; Pythagorean Theorem. Among others, the collection includes: Miscellaneous Conservation of Area, Transformation of a Triangle, Transformation of a Pentagon, Billiards(for Explorer 3.0 only), Regular m/n-Polygon, Finding angles, Sum of three segments, Congruent triangles, Dividing Triangle, Changing Border Line, Eye Ball, Three circles, Sum of three angles, Sum of Outer Angles, Pythagoras Theorem(2), Application of Alternate Segment Theorem, Shadow of a Square, Dividing a Quadrilateral, Polygon Creater, Polya's Problem, Horizontal Machine, Dividing a Square, Height of the Pole, and Problem about Angles(2).
Naming Polygons and Polyhedra - Ask Dr. Math FAQ
Using Pattern Blocks - Java Applet by Jacobo Bulaevsky
    Three Dimensions:
Animated Crystallographic Polyhedra - Steffen Weber
Animated polyhedra developed from a Java applet by John N. Huffman (ChemRote 1.0). Contents include: Bucky ball; Triacontahedron; Icosahedron; Hexakisoctahedron; Triakisoctahedron; Icositetrahedron; Tetrakishexahedron; Octahedron; Cube; Hexakistetrahedron; Tetrahedron; Deltoiddodecahedron; Diakisdodecahedron; Pentagonal Icositetrahedron; Dodecahedron and Pentagonal, Rhombic, Tetrahedral Pentagonal, and Deltoid Dodecahedrons; Hexagonal and Trigonal Dipyramids; Hexagonal and Tetragonal Trapezohedrons; Tetragonal and Ditrigonal Scalenohedrons; Rhombohedron; Trigonal Trapezohedron; and Tetragonal, Hexagonal, and Trigonal Pyramids.
The Isometric (Cubic) Crystal System - John N. Huffman
Java applets which show some of the major forms for the Hexoctahedral Class (symmetry 4/m3bar2/m) of crystals. By rotating the applets, you can examine and identify the symmetry elements and location in each form. Figures include the cube or hexahedron, octahedron, various stages in a progression from cube to octahedron, dodecahedron, and a combination of cube and dodecahedron. You can also find information about the graphics behind these figures, and the public may use this applet free of charge.

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