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Lesson Plan #: AELP-GEO0008
Submitted by: Marlena Mudryk
Email: mudrm6a0@elon.edu
School/University/Affiliation: Elon College
Endorsed by: Deborah Thurlow
             Assistant Professor, Elon College NC 27244 Date: May 10, 1999

Grade Level(s): 4, 5


  • Mathematics/Geometry

Duration: 1 hour Description: This lesson is a result of work completed in the class, Mathematics and Science Methods for Elementary Teachers at Elon College. Lessons were prepared for and implemented in 4th grade classrooms at Haw River Elementary school, Haw River, NC.

Goals: The learner will:
1) demonstrate an understanding of the use of the properties and relationships in geometry.
2) Use manipulatives to identify properties of a polygon.

Objectives: Students will be able to:
1) identify a polygon, perpendicular lines, and parallel lines.
2) become familiar with geoboards


  • geoboards
  • dot paper (see Internet site below)
  • teacher-made worksheet [Note: The author regrets that the original worksheet could not be included with this lesson.]

Procedure: Ask the students if they know what geometry is. Take answers from all students. Ask why it is important for us to learn about shapes. Then ask if students know what a geoboard is. Introduce the geoboard to the class and demonstrate how to use one. Also let students know that they should not play with the rubber bands.

Now have the students take five minutes to explore with their geoboards. This is important, because it gives students a chance to play with the geoboard (not during your instruction). Hand out dot paper to the students. Inform them that they are going to go outside and discover geometry. Ask the students to use their dot paper to draw geometric shapes they see outside. Take about 5 to 10 minutes outside for everybody to draw two shapes that they see outside. Now head back to the classroom and have students transfer their shapes from their dot paper to their geoboards. This is really good to help younger children with hand-eye-coordination.

Now walk around the classroom and have all the students with a geoboard with a polygon on it put their geoboard up front on the left. And have all students with shapes that are irregular polygons put their geoboards on the right. But don’t tell the students this is what you are doing. Now ask them if they can figure out why some are on the left and some are on the right. This may take them several minutes. So give them time to think about it. Once you get the right answer, discuss what a polygon is and go over its properties (a figure with usually more than five sides.)

Now divide the geoboards up again, but this time have parallel lines on the right and no parallel lines on the left. Have students try and figure out how they are divided. Do this same procedure for perpendicular lines. Once the students understand polygons, parallel and perpendicular have them all get their geoboards and take off their rubber bands. Have them all listen to you as you read a list of rules to make a certain pology. (Example: Make a sided polygon with one pair of parallel lines, Make a sided polygon with two sets of perpendicular lines.) Go through a list of these and go over what ever concept needs further discussion. Hand out worksheet with several of these different principles to make different polygons. This can be used in the classroom with geoboards, or given for homework with dot paper.

For any Spanish speaking students it is a great idea to write polygon, perpendicular and parallel in both English and Spanish on the board. (the Spanish Resource mentioned below will give you this information).

Assessment: You are able to assess the students during and after this lesson. You can first see how the students are doing by having them draw shapes on to their geoboards and dot paper. Then you are also able to see if they understand the concept of polygon, parallel and perpendicular by having them complete different principles/rules to make a certain polygon (worksheet). This can be taken home and done for homework on dot paper, or this can be done in the class on geoboards.

Useful Internet Resources:
* English-Spanish Math Terms

* Tom Scavo’s Geoboards in the Classroom
Includes dot paper that can be printed out.