I found again that knowledge is better integrated through story telling. Learning geometry using the box of sticks has made it engaging and meaningful.
In this lesson, the children were invited to discover the “family tree of quadrilaterals.” It begins with the ancestor on top, the common quadrilateral, a.k.a. trapezium. This ancestor is lacking in many ways, it is really in its primitive state, in comparison to the trapezoid, the rectangle, the parallelogram, the rhombus, the kite, and the square.
The story continues to describe how quadrilaterals differ and also improve, as we build them downwardly. Finally, we end the story with the “perfect square.”
Why perfect square? Before constructing all the quadrilaterals, I asked the children what was their favorite quadrilateral. They said “the kite!” because yes we all love kites. They said “the parallelogram!” because yes the parallelogram is a funny one. It is a rectangle that got gently hit by a bus. But little did they know that their favorite quadrilateral was going to be the “perfect square.”
The square has it all: 4 equal sides, 4 parallel sides, and 4 right angles. It is indeed, in all simplicity, perfect. Now the children know that as any family, ones may share a common name, but they differ in characteristics.
If you too have had a great experience teaching geometry, what was your best shot?