Ways to Make: Hexagon Edition

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SWBAT generate ways of making a hexagon using different combinations of shapes.

Big Idea

Students generate multiple ways of making a hexagon with this complex, hands-on task!

Setting Up the Learning

5 minutes



Last week we looked at ways to make larger, composite shapes. We made a large triangle out of lots of different shapes. We also made funny looking aliens out of shapes. 



Mathematicians almost never use 1 shape by itself. Mathematicians think about how these shapes fit together to make bigger, composite shapes. Then you can use these bigger shapes to build things.

Objective: Your thinking job today is: What are all the ways we can make a hexagon?

Opening Discussion

15 minutes

Look closely at this hexagon: What do you notice about it?

Students partner talk: Listen for ideas such as it has straight sides, it has 6 corners, etc

Make some predictions: what shapes could you put together to make this shape. Could you use a circle? Why or why not? Could you use a triangle? Why or why not?

I am asking this mostly for formative data to see how kids are already thinking, but also to help them start to visualize how shapes fit together.

You are going to get some time to experiment with the hexagon. I want you to find at least one way to make a hexagon and be prepared to share it with a partner.  After you build the hexagon using one combination of shapes, I want you to write down how you built it. Include what shapes you used to build it.

Student Work Time & Share

15 minutes

Student Work Time: I’ll have students work for 5 minutes and then share with a partner how they built the hexagon. Sentence stem to support discussion: How did you build your hexagon? I built my hexagon with…

  • While students work, I am specifically looking for 2 hexagons to share out—preferably one with 2 trapezoids and the other with a trapezoid and a combination of other shapes. This way we can notice how the other shapes were equal to the trapezoid.

Student Share: During the student share, I reference an online tool I used. You can find the pattern block tool at this Illuminations link

Let’s look at a few of the ways you put your hexagon together, and let’s focus on how you can record how you did this so you can remember how to build the hexagons tomorrow.

Share 1: I’ll show how one student made the hexagon using 2 trapezoids with the online pattern block tool. Before I put the trapezoids together, I'll encourage students' visualization skills by asking: How could I take these two trapezoids and make them into a hexagon?

  • I'll model drawing what we did on chart paper. Think Aloud: “To make it easier, I am not going to draw the whole shape. I am only going to draw where I would cut the hexagon to show the shapes. I’ll use a red marker to show my trapezoids. I see that the line to cut the hexagon into 2 trapezoids is straight through the middle. Do you see my two trapezoids? Where are they?”

Share 2: I'll show a second way to make the hexagon using the online tool.
 Before making the shape, I'll have students partner talk: How could I take this trapezoid, rhombus and triangle and make it a hexagon?

After showing it on the promethean board, I’ll again draw how we did it on chart paper.

Share Compare: During this part of the lesson, I want students to start to explore how we can use the equivalence of shapes to help us find new ways. In other words, I want them to see that because the rhombus and triangle make up a trapezoid, we can use them interchangeably with a trapezoid.

Guiding Questions:

  • How did we change the first shapes to make the second hexagon? 
  • How are these two shape compositions different?

  • I'll model using the term “equivalent”. We took out the trapezoid and put a rhombus and triangle. The rhombus and triangle are equivalent to the trapezoid. We can replace the trapezoid with the rhombus and triangle.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Group A: Intervention

Students will do the Make a Hexagon pattern sheet and students will use pattern blocks to discover as many ways as possible to fill the hexagon.

Aim: At least 3 unique ways (knowing that sometimes students will use the same shapes in different orientations). Students focus on only building, not trying to record for today. 

Group B: Middle

Students will do the Make a Hexagon pattern sheet and students will use pattern blocks to discover as many ways as possible to fill the hexagon. Students record how they made the hexagons using crayons. The recording will be tricky for students-allowing them to use color will help me see which pattern blocks they were trying to use. Recording will be something these students focus on over the next couple of days.

Group C: Extension

Students will do the Make a Hexagon pattern sheet and students will use pattern blocks to discover all of the unique ways to make the hexagon. Students record how they made the shapes using crayons.

You can find the Hexagon Recording Sheet here, courtesy of the Kindergarten Kindergarten blog!


5 minutes

To close out the lesson, we will come together and create an anchor chart of 6 ways we made a hexagon today. We will use this anchor chart tomorrow to help us think about ways to make other shapes. 

After students share with me on the rug, they will go back to their desks and write about one way they made a hexagon. 

You can find the Exit Ticket Response attached!