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Grade Level(s): 6-8
By: Suzy Penna, Secondary Physics & Math in Australia

I use this lesson with my Year 7 Maths class towards the end of our topic which looks at Shapes and Angles. It allows the students to integrate Art with their Maths and is very tactile. We create mobiles on Fluro paper which stay nice and bright in our room for some time after the topic is over. This lesson can easily be adapted for primary classes.


  • reference books - dictionary, encyclopedias, etc.
  • scissors
  • glue
  • straws
  • coat hangers
  • paper (for mobiles)
  • Handout: polygons.doc (best) If you don't have Word or WordPad, try the html version.


Break students into groups, assign/or allow choice of a type of polygon and fill in sheet. Students can then begin research into their particular polygon. I try to cover the main known polygons and some "not-so common" ones.

i.e. choices are:
  • triangle
  • quadrilateral
  • pentagon
  • hexagon
  • heptagon
  • octagon
  • nonagon
  • decagon
  • undecagon
  • dodecagon

Last year the students were to do poster and oral presentations. This year to allow more learning styles to be catered for I have left the presentation to be optional. All will have an oral component though.

I usually allow students 2-3 lessons to work on their task and adapt as necessary. Presentations are then scheduled for the next couple of lessons. This activity also leads into discussion about our calendar and its name origins.


Suzy is in her third year of teaching at Bacchus Marsh Grammar School in Victoria where she teaches Maths at Year 7, 9 and 11 and Physics at Year 12.

Copyright 1999 by Suzy Penna. All Rights Reserved.


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