Identifying Polygons

Polygons can be defined as two-dimensional, closed figures that are described by the number of sides, length of sides, and the kinds of angles. Many polygons have a respective name depending on their description. Some common polygons you will work with include: triangles, squares, rectangles, trapezoids, quadrilaterals, rhombus, pentagons, hexagons, parallelogram, and octagons.

When learning the names of polygons, students can easily be confused by terms that are used interchangeably at times. For example, a quadrilateral is considered to be a four-sided figure. So one might easily confuse this by calling all quadrilaterals squares or rectangles. However, by definition a rectangle is a special quadrilateral because it has opposite sides that are congruent or the same length and each angle is a right angle that measures 90 degrees. Another special quadrilateral is a square. A square has four sides that are all congruent or the same length as well as four angles that are all right angles measuring 90 degrees. This becomes easily confusing for a student when they are trying to identify polygons by name and descriptors.

Learning about polygons can be overwhelming for some students but a simple game can help that! Besides, what child doesn’t like to play games? Kids love games, but what they don’t always realize is that the games they are playing are actually educational games. SURPRISE!

One of the easiest and most exciting games for kids to play is “I Have, who Has?”. This game can be used across a wide variety of subjects and topics by easily changing the material. This game is to be used by small groups of students and/or for whole class as a review. (Whole class activity would require more game cards with different vocabulary terms/items)
In this activity, students will practice or review the names of common polygons based on their descriptions.

Materials: 1 set of “I Have, Who Has?” game cards for each group of ten students. (Print and cut apart cards prior to playing game)

*Keep in mind that this game is to be used with one card per student *

Instructions to Play:

1. Give each student one game card. Tell them not to let their neighbor see their card!
2. The first person starts by reading the question on their card. Remind them that they start with the sentence that starts with the word WHO. For example, “Who has the name of a polygon with eight sides?”
3. The person with the matching polygon reads their card. For example, “I have OCTAGON.”
4. Once they have read their answer, they then read the question on their card. “I have octagon. Who has the name of a polygon with four equal sides?”
5. The game continues in this pattern until all cards have been read.

This game forces students to use the knowledge they have learned about polygons based on their descriptions.

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