Identifying Polygons

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 11080

Geometry may not sound like fun unless you use it to draw a picture! Polygons are all around you, so you'd better get to know them! Play some polygon games and draw your favorite polygon picture, too!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Imagine if a friend asked you if you wanted a piece of candy.

  • What would your first question be?

You would probably ask what kind of candy.

We know that there are MANY different types of candy. We even split them into categories - like chocolate, sour, hard, fruity, nutty, crunchy, chewy, bars, and candy-coated.

  • For example, how would you classify a Snickers?

Snickers would fit into the bar, chocolate, nutty, and chewy categories. It is very different from a lollipop!

Shapes are the same way! If someone asked you to draw a shape, you would need more information.

Just like candy, shapes can be split into many different categories. You can classify shapes by the way their lines are drawn, by the number of sides, by the length of the sides, by the types of angles, or even by their complexity!

In this lesson, you will begin to learn about polygons and how to identify them correctly!

Polygons are closed two-dimensional shapes with straight sides.

  • What does that mean?

Let's look at some examples!

polygon diagram 1

All of these shapes are two-dimensional. The circle has curved sides, however, so it is not a polygon! The last shape is not closed because the lines do not all connect, so also not a polygon! The only polygon here is the triangle.

Polygons can then be split into other categories. A polygon can be simple or complex.

simple and complex

A complex polygon is when the sides cross over themselves.

Simple polygons can then be split into even more categories! These categories include information about how many sides make up the polygon. You probably know many of these shapes!


Once you identify a polygon by its number of sides, you can classify it even more!

If all the side lengths and angles are equal, the polygon is regular! For example, a square is a quadrilateral and a regular polygon. The sides are all the same.

regular polygons

If the sides are not equal, then the polygon is irregular.

irregular polygons

Many irregular triangles and quadrilaterals have names as well!

irregular polygon names

  • Ready to practice identifying polygons?

Move over to the Got It? section to practice sorting and classifying polygons!

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.