Sorting Out Solid Figures

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 10622

Geometry is all around you! You can find 3-dimensional shapes in everything you see. Complete interactive online and hands-on activities of your choosing to learn all about the shapes in your world.



learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Watch Solid Shapes For Kids as an introduction to this lesson:

Today, you are going to continue learning about geometry.

The topic of today's geometry lesson is solid figures. Solid figures are 3-dimensional.

Take a moment to read the information below. Become familiar with the names of the solid figures and the other definitions that will be helpful to know during this lesson (All definitions can be found at A Maths Dictionary For Kids Quick Reference by clicking on the terms.)

  • dimension: This describes the size of an object.
  • three-dimensional: You can measure three parts of a three-dimensional figure. You can measure the length of the figure, the width of the figure, and the height of the figure.
  • base: The base of a solid figure is what the figure sits on. If you put a solid figure on a table, it is the part of the figure that is touching the table.
  • cone: A cone has a base in the shape of a circle. The sides get narrow until they reach at the top and form a point.
  • cube: A cube is shaped like a square and has 6 sides that are all the same measurement.
  • cylinder: A cylinder has two bases, each in the shape of a circle. The bases are the same size as each other and are connected by the curved side.
  • prism: Prisms can be triangular, square, or even rectangular. A triangular prism is a three-dimensional solid that has two bases, each in the shape of a triangle.
  • pyramid: A pyramid's base can be one of many shapes. For example, a pyramid can have a rectangular base, a triangular base, or a square base. The sides of a pyramid are in the shape of triangles that meet at the top forming a point.
  • rectangular prism: A rectangular prism has two bases in the shape of a rectangle. The bases are the same size.
  • sphere: A sphere is the same shape as a ball.

Time for a fun activity, called Find My Twin!, that will help you understand solid figures.

For this activity, you will need to access the following documents found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar:

  • Cone - Print and Fold
  • Cube - Print and Fold
  • Cylinder - Print and Fold
  • Rectangular Prism - Print and Fold
  • Pyramid - Print and Fold
  • Sphere - Print and Fold

Print out each shape's template.Then cut, fold, and tape each shape.

Once you have completed this part of the activity, take a tour of your classroom or home. Locate everyday items that match each shape in this lesson. Take a picture of each item you locate. Print out the pictures, and paste them onto the Find My Twin worksheet (Downloadable Resources).

(Option: Instead of taking pictures of the every day items, you can draw them.)

The definitions above can be confusing and difficult to understand. Listing the properties of each solid figure is a better way to understand their differences. Properties are characteristics of an item.

For example, if you were to list the properties of a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you could say that it is cold and white. You could even say it melts when it gets warm.

Take a few minutes to examine each of the solid figures. Use the paper three-dimensional figures you constructed at the beginning of the lesson. Pick each model up and look at each side.

You can choose to complete one or both of these activities.

Print and complete the Properties of Solid Figures worksheet (Downloadable Resources).

  • Note: Faces are the same as sides. When you are asked how many faces a solid figure has, you can answer by counting the number of sides a solid figure has. Faces and sides are the same thing.
  • (Optional: Use numbered stickers on the solid figure models to help you count the number of faces each solid figure has. You can also use numbered stickers to help count the number of corners a solid figure has.)
  • Remember, a corner is where two straight sides meet. If the sides are slanted, the place where they meet is a point and not a corner.

Make a poster about the properties of the solid figures you are studying.

  • Use a large piece of poster board, markers, and printed pictures of the solid figures to make a poster.
  • This activity can be your reminder of what each solid figure looks like.
  • (Optional: You can draw pictures of the solid figures instead of printing them out.)

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