Solving Quadrilateral Problems

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SWBAT apply knowledge of attributes of quadrilaterals to solve problems.

Big Idea

Increased opportunities for practice working with quadrilaterals provides students with time to develop a conceptual understanding.

Review & Refresh

10 minutes

At the beginning of this lesson, students review the types of quadrilaterals and their attributes. To facilitate this discussion I project the same screen that was used for classifying quadrilaterals in the previous lesson (Quadrilateral Properties & Attributes), review the concept of an inclusive definition, and ask students to make statements about each of the quadrilateral types.  


Types of quadrilaterals: Students are able to list trapezoid, rhombus, square, rectangle, parallelogram

Attributes of each: Students are aware of the unique vs. inclusive attributes (ex: a rectangle has 2 sets of parallel lines and 4 right angles this includes a square.  A square has the same attributes as a rectangle, but also has 4 equal sides).

When students are sharing, I listen carefully for language that is not precise (ex: a parallelogram is a rectangle with slanted sides).  This is common kid language, but it is not accurate.  I really spend time helping students understand that the side of the angles is an attribute, not a slanted side.   

This review and refresh is intended to be a brief way to warm-up the students thinking.  The lesson is designed to allow students time to work with these shapes and their attributes in small groups. 

Small Group Independent Practice

20 minutes

Students are given an opportunity to solve various problems involving the properties of quadrilaterals.  These problems include finding the measurement of missing angles, naming quadrilaterals, finding area and perimeter, and solving problems with area and perimeter. 

These questions were taken from the website, a helpful resource for both teachers and students.  The word problems offer various levels of complexity for area and perimeter problems.  

Students work in small groups to make sense of each of the problems and then solve them.

As students work, I correct their responses to the basic skills questions.  

At the end of class, we share strategies and solutions for solving the area and perimeter word problems. For me, getting the answer is not enough.  I want students to know and understanding how they arrived at an answer, so they can then explain it to others.  A useful strategy for solving area and perimeter problems is a part/part whole diagram.  This is explained in the reflection.