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Locating Polygons in the Environment
Grade: 2-4
Subject(s): Art
Required products: Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Photographs with Angles in Them
  • Worksheet from Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Digital Cameras (at least 1, but try to get more!)
  • Marker/Chalk
  • White Board/Chalk Board
  • Computer
  • TV/LCD Projector
  • S-Video Cable to hook up to the TV if you are using a TV

  • Overview
    Students will be able to identify different polygons in the surrounding environment.
    1) Draw some shapes on the board and ask the students if they have ever seen these shapes before. This is a great way to see what the students already know.
    2) Explain that today we are going to look at polygons. Ask students if they know what a polygon is (some may say shapes).
    3) Tell students that a polygon is a shape that has straight lines and is closed. Ask, “Has anyone ever seen a shape that is closed and has all straight lines?” Some students may respond with triangles and squares. Tell students that those are polygons, but not the only ones. There are lots of shapes. We are going to look at different kinds of polygons today.
    4) Write on the board: Triangle, Quadrilateral, Pentagon, Hexagon, and Octagon (use less polygons for lower grades, and more for upper grades).
    5) Explain that all the words on the board are types of polygons. These are not the only polygons out there, but they are the ones we see the most.
    6) Count how many sides, angles, and vertices there are on each of the shapes on the board.
    7) When you have finished counting the sides, angles, and vertices on the board, show pictures of the shapes. You can find plenty of pictures to cut out from magazines, or use a digital camera to shoot photos right outside your classroom, or around your house.
    8) While students are looking at the pictures, see if they can name the shapes and going back to a previous lesson, see if they can identify the different angles in the shapes.
    9) After looking at the pictures, the students are going to test themselves to see if they can remember what each shape is, how many sides it has, and how many angles it has using the worksheet made on Tool Factory Word Processor.
    10) Give a few minutes to work on the sheet and then go over it.
    11) After students have worked independently on their sheet and reviewed their answers, separate students into as many groups as you have cameras (you can ask students to bring camera’s beforehand, if you don't have enough).
    12) If it is a nice day, take the students outside on the playground where their task is to find as many shapes and angles as they can photograph. They are to take pictures of these shapes and angles to bring back to the classroom to share with the class. If it is not a nice day, you can identify items in the classroom to work with. Toys frequently make effective subjects.
    13) Come back into the room and upload the pictures on the computer. If you have an LCD projector or can hook your computer up to the television, this will be the most helpful for students to see each others pictures. Have the students talk about what shapes they found in their pictures.
    Follow-up Activities
    As an extension, have students create an ABC book of polygons, lines, and angles using their pictures and their classmates’ pictures. They may have to do some drawing in this as well.
    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • Shapes Sheet made with Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Clip Art Station is a great resource for curriculum-based photographs
  • Educator's Digital Camera Center
    Tessa Weiss
    4th Grade Teacher
    Georgian Forest Elementary School
    3100 Regina Drive
    Silver Spring MD 20906
    Phone: 301-460-2170 Fax:
  • Click images to enlarge