K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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Related pages

  • Exploring geometric shapes: These hands-on activities make learning about geometric shapes more appealing to students.
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  • Pattern block addition: Students will practice addition, problem solving, and writing equations in the context of a fun and challenging pattern game.

Related topics


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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • be able to identify properties of polygons with the use of pictures from newspapers, magazines, and, if access is available, pictures from the internet
  • identify line segments, angles, solid geometric figures, and plane surfaces in real world objects
  • learn to write a summary of their work

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 hour


  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • scissors
  • paste
  • poster board or construction paper
  • notebook paper and pencil
  • crayons (optional)

Technology resources

  • computer with access to the internet (optional)
  • word processing program (optional)
  • HyperStudio 3.1 version


  • Using the overhead projector, review polygons including quadrilaterals, squares, rectangles, triangles, pentagons, hexagons, and octagons and discuss the qualities of each.
  • Students complete the Hanging Polygons activity.
  • Allow the students to make solid figures such as a cubes, rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, etc. using patterns of the two-dimensional figures in the attachment For example, six square patterns taped together would make a cube.
  • As a homework assignment, the day before this lesson have students bring in newspaper and/or magazine pictures they believe include polygons and solid geometric figures.


  1. Introduce the lesson with the Hyperstudio presentation “Geometry In Our World” using classroom TV and computer hookup (if this is not available skip this step).
  2. Give each student a newspaper, construction paper/poster board, scissors, and glue. Adding to the collection from their homework assignment, have the children continue searching for polygons and geometric figures until they have a sufficient supply to completely cover the entire surface of their paper.
  3. Next, have the students glue their pictures on the paper to make a collage.
  4. Students can carefully add color to their collages by lightly coloring the newspaper pictures they have included.
  5. Finally, tell the students to write a summary of the collage describing the kinds of geometric figures it includes. The summary should be at least two paragraphs long and include only the most important information about their collage.
  6. Post the students’ final products on a bulletin board or hallway wall for all to admire.
  7. For homework, students complete the Discovering Polygons activity sheet.


  • Evaluation of student summary and collage
  • Activity sheet: Discovering Polygons

Supplemental information


This curriculum resource was created in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Mathematics and Science Education in June of 1998.
Hands on Math pages 35 & 36 reprinted with the permission of Instructional Fair * TS Denison. “If you’d like to know more about our products, please call 1-800-443-2976 and ask for a catalog!”

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 3

  • Goal 3: Geometry - The learner will recognize and use basic geometric properties of two- and three-dimensional figures.
    • Objective 3.01: Use appropriate vocabulary to compare, describe, and classify two- and three-dimensional figures.