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Polyhedra Stations: Characteristics of 3D Shapes

Math Giraffe
Grade Levels
5th - 8th
Formats Included
  • Zip
17 (plus options, directions, answer keys, etc.)
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Math Giraffe


These polyhedra learning centers guide students to discover 3d shapes, explore pyramids vs. prisms, nets, and classifications. They build prior knowledge for surface area and volume by working with faces, edges, and vertices.

These activities guide students to discover the similarities and differences between pyramids and prisms. Students also learn how to visualize a polyhedron using a net, building key concepts needed in Geometry over the next few years.

These learning stations are set up for groups of 3 to 5 students to rotate through. Length of time for each station should be between 15 and 25 minutes, depending on student ability and time constraints. The activities will span two days in a typical classroom. At any station, if the group runs out of time, they can finish that station’s activity as homework or when they may have extra time at another station.

This set of materials includes a main card to place at each station that gives students directions. The cards are included in black and white and in color. The set also has printables for the complete student packet, including vocabulary cards that students fill out as they travel through the stations, 3 nets for constructing polyhedra in a hands-on exploration, grid paper, and all information and worksheets that are needed to guide students through their discovery of polyhedra.

The critical thinking and application station even introduces Euler’s formula for polyhedra and then guides students to begin thinking in terms of surface area as an extension into future objectives in Geometry.

Two stations (B and C) require internet access. Teachers can either allow students to find their own video and applet resources (with guidance if needed), or they can have them already chosen and set up. Basic internet searches will provide plenty of great online manipulatives and resources to easily fit the needs of the activities at these stations.

Materials required other than what is included here: two computers with internet access, tape, and scissors for each student. All other resources are included!

The zip file contains two PDF files.

Please check out the preview file to see each station.

Try these other great Math Giraffe resources:

Distributive Property Investigation - Bracelets

Angle Puzzles: Angles in a Triangle

Discovering Pyramids and Prisms: Inquiry Activity

Total Pages
17 (plus options, directions, answer keys, etc.)
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.


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