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Properties of quadrilaterals

There are several aspects to the investigation of the properties of quadrilaterals.

  • Each of the special quadrilaterals possesses a unique set of properties. Students can 'discover' these if they are given good activities and useful tools. They then need to retain the understanding of the properties for future use.
  • The descriptions of properties are loaded with geometrical terms and it is important that students understand what these mean. Further elaboration can be found in The Language of Geometry.

At this stage of their mathematical development, most students view squares and rectangles as different shapes, rather than seeing that a square is just a special rectangle (and a special rhombus).

Property match-up

This is a classroom activity in which students are required to match quadrilateral properties expressed in words with the corresponding properties indicated on a diagram.

Quadrilateral property quiz

In this classroom activity, students are given physical examples of quadrilaterals that they can fold and measure. They then manipulate digital versions of the same quadrilaterals.

Quadrilateral flowchart puzzle

This is a challenging classroom activity in which students are required to represent the hierarchy of the special quadrilaterals in a flowchart diagram.

Curriculum links

Year 7: Classify triangles according to their side and angle properties and describe quadrilaterals

Year 8: Establish properties of quadrilaterals using congruent triangles and angle properties, and solve related numerical problems using reasoning