Geometry for 4th Grade Students

In elementary school, students learn the basics of geometry, such as identifying shapes and recognizing characteristics. By 4th grade, students are taught about angles, polygons, classifications and symmetry. Keep reading to find more about what 4th graders learn as well as some teaching tools.

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Teaching the Nuts and Bolts of 4th Grade Geometry

What They Learn

In 4th grade, students learn to draw rays, angles and line segments (both parallel and perpendicular). Students also learn to apply these concepts by identifying them within shapes.

Students use attributes of 2-dimensional shapes to place them in categories. The number of sides and angles, the kinds of angles and the presence of perpendicular or parallel sides are all characteristics that help students classify shapes. For instance, a shape that has four sides can be classified as quadrilateral.

Finally, 4th graders learn to identify the line of symmetry in 2-dimensional shapes. The line of symmetry is where both sides of the shape will be exactly the same on either side.

Teaching Tools

Books

Books can be a great way to introduce geometry concepts because they will capture your students' interest and may make the material seem more accessible. Books for 4th grade math include:

  • What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? A Math Adventure by Julie Ellis
  • Shape Me a Rhyme by Jane Yolen
  • Symmetry in Nature by Allyson Valentine Schrier

Music

Music can help kids remember terms and concepts because of the repetition and rhyming. You can find some free music on the Web and you can find even more on CDs. Some albums, such as Math by Rockin' the Standards, allow you to download a single song for under a dollar. Other geometry songs you may find helpful include the following.

Lines by Kathleen Wiley can help kids remember the differences between parallel and perpendicular lines.
Geometry Park by Joe Crone teaches angles, triangles and polygons.
Geometry by Jim Thompson, from his album Work It!, introduces practical ways to use geometry.

Games

Cut out several shapes and pass them out to the students. Then, challenge your students to find how many shapes can be made from the pieces.

Instead of going on a walk to keep in shape, go on a walk to find shapes. Have the students keep a record of the shapes and where they found them. Be sure to have the students classify the shape. Alternatively, give the students a shape to look for on the walk and ask them to keep a list of things they found that had their shape.

Geoboards are a fun and creative way to make shapes in the classroom or at home. You can either make your own or find interactive geoboards online.

Kaleidoscopes

When you want to teach symmetry, what better example can you find than a kaleidoscope? If you're looking for a project to teach symmetry, several videos on YouTube.com show how to make kaleidoscopes. If your classroom has computer access for the students and you'd like even more pizzazz for this topic, you might look into a CD such as KaleidoDraw or Kreator 3 by Kaleidoscope.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

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