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Math 5 - Act. 15: Pass It On


Students will participate in a class activity that will help them learn some geometric terms and their definition.



Pass It On Cards:

Cards are made by listing a geometric term on one side of the card and a definition of a different term on the back side of the card.

Additional Resources

A Cloak for the Dreamer by Aileen Friedman
Sir Cumference and The Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander
Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Background for Teachers

Using accurate terminology is a significant part of understanding geometry. Mathematics has its own language. In order for students to comprehend directions and results, they must be familiar with that language.

Ray: A part of a line that has one endpoint and goes on forever in one direction.
Angle: Two rays sharing a common endpoint.
Equilateral: A triangle with all sides and angles equal.
Isosceles: A triangle that has exactly two congruent sides.
Scalene: A triangle that has no congruent sides.
Right angle: An angle that measures exactly 90º.
Acute angle: An angle that measures less than 90º.
Obtuse angle: An angle that measures greater than 90º but less than 180º.
Pyramid: A polyhedron whose base is a polygon, and whose other faces are triangles that share a common vertex.
Prism: A three-dimensional figure with two parallel and congruent faces that are polygons. The rest of the faces are parallelograms.
Vertex: The point at which two line segments, lines, or rays meet to form an angle.
Edge: The line segment where two faces of a solid figure meet.
Face: The plane figure that serves as one side of a solid figure. The faces of a cube are square.
Triangle: A polygon with three sides.
Polygon: A closed plane figure made by line segments.

Intended Learning Outcomes

4. Communicate mathematically.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn
The teacher should say a few foreign words or phrases. Ask the students if it was a compliment, statement, question, or direction. State that if we do not know the language, it is hard to understand what to do. This lesson will allow the students an opportunity to practice using the geometric language.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Divide the class into groups of approximately 12 students (adjust the number of cards used to the size of the groups). Each student receives one card.
  2. Randomly select one student to read the definition on their card. The student who holds the geometric term that matches that definition will stand and say the term. Once it is agreed that the response is correct, the standing student then reads the definition on the back of their card.
  3. Again, a new student will identify the definition as a match to their card and will stand and say their term, and then read their definition.
  4. The practice continues until the chain is complete and all students have read their definition.
  5. If time permits, redistribute the cards and repeat the activity.


Possible Extensions/Adaptations
This game could be expanded or adapted by adding additional geometric or other mathematical terms.

An adaptation of this activity could be played with one player describing, defining, and drawing the term until his partner can name it. See how many terms each team can name in 60 seconds.

Home & Family Connections
Send home a list of the terms and their definitions. The family could cut apart the cards, turn them all over and then play a game of “memory” trying to match definitions with terms.

Assessment Plan

Provide each student with a list of 15-20 geometric terms and a piece of blank paper. Have them cut their geometric terms up and then sort them into groups. As a teacher you should NOT give them a predetermined number of groups or suggestions for sorting. When they have their words sorted, have them glue them on to the blank sheet of paper into groups and then add a label to describe each group.

Created: 09/03/2003
Updated: 01/31/2018