Welcome back for another STEM Saturday! As many of you know, we are usually posting about our fun science and engineering projects, however this week we thought we would switch it up a tad and share this really fun Valentine’s Day math activity. If you have a first grader learning about polygons or any child learning about shapes, this is the perfect hands-on math lesson. We had a blast building these polygon shapes.
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What is a Polygon?
If you have not ever heard the word or are unsure of a great definition for polygons, you are not alone. Many of us call these shapes and don’t ever go further than that. However, polygons allow you to teach children how to compare, contrast and classify by properties.
When we start the lesson, we look at Polygon vs nonpolygon and discuss what we notice. I encourage my kids to come up with rules for polygons before I ever tell them what they are. If you are stumped on questions to ask to encourage thinking, you might like these 10 questions for any math lesson.
After discussing, sorting and creating a definition of polygons, we list what we know.
* Have straight Sides
* Are Closed Shapes
* Have Sides that Come Together at the Corner
* No NOT have curved edges
* Do NOT intersect
* Are NOT Open
Now that your children have a better understanding of what a polygon is, its time to build something super fun and hands on to help them make connection and solidify their learning.
Building Valentine’s Day Polygon Shapes with Straws
Red, Pink or Black Paper Straws
Red, Pink, or White Pipe Cleaners
We set out the materials in cups on the table. I separated the different size straws to make it easier to create polygon shapes.
Using the pipe cleaners, connect two of the straws together. This will be your CLOSED CORNER. The straws will be your STRAIGHT EDGES.
You can add as many sides (straws) as you want, as long as they are straight and connected.
Once you have completed putting the sides on, simply use one more pipe cleaner to close everything up.
The possibilities are endless.
Investigating Polygons and Making Connections
After you have made the polygons, have your children investigate what they have made. How many sides? How many edges? How many corners? Can they name the polygon?
TIME FOR STEM SATURDAY BLOG HOP!
Every Saturday we will get so many wonderful ideas linked up from around the web that we have decided we want to feature some of these great ideas. That’s why every Saturday, I will pick from the posts linked up and feature my absolute favorites. This might be a hard choice to make, luckily you can always head over to last week’s post and check out more great STEM resources!
This Week’s Feature: Math
Ten Frames | Sugar Aunts
VISIT THESE GREAT BLOGGERS FOR MORE STEM FUN!
Party Cloud Dough | Glittery Fizz from The Science Kiddo
Moon Math Game from Stir the Wonder