Classifying Quadrilaterals

Contributor: Erika Wargo. Lesson ID: 12538

Can you classify a quadrilateral? Can you define a quadrilateral? Can you find a quadrilateral? You'll be able to easily answer all these because they are common shapes! Don't be a square; read on!



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you see quadrilaterals around you every day? How many do you think are in the picture above?

What makes a shape a quadrilateral?

Polygons with four sides are called "quadrilaterals."

Parallelograms, rhombuses, trapezoids, squares, and rectangles are quadrilaterals. On a piece of paper, draw an example of these shapes and describe the properties of each shape to a parent or teacher.

Quad means “four” and lateral means “side.” Quadrilaterals have these special properties:

  • four sides and four corners
  • 2-dimensional (flat shape)
  • straight sides
  • closed shape

Quadrilaterals can also have parallel sides — sides that stay the same distance apart and never cross each other. The interior, or inside, angles add up to 360 degrees.

As you watch a video and learn a song about quadrilaterals, write down one special property about each quadrilateral:

  • parallelogram
  • trapezoid
  • rectangle
  • rhombus
  • square

Discuss with a parent or teacher what you wrote down after you watch Quadrilaterals Song For Kids * Geometry Video by NUMBEROCK:


Next, review this quadrilateral chart so you can become familiar with each shape:

Example 1 Name the quadrilateral and explain your reasoning:

This shape has four sides and four right angles, which are 90 degrees each. The opposite sides are parallel and of equal length, so this quadrilateral is a rectangle.

The tick marks on the sides of the rectangle help you see that the opposite sides are equal. The sides with one tick mark mean that those two sides are equal length and the same is true for the opposite sides with two tick marks, even though the actual measurements are not given.

Example 2 The following shapes are not quadrilaterals. Discuss with a parent or teacher why they are not quadrilaterals:

Quadrilaterals have only four sides and have straight sides. The first figure has more than four sides and is three-dimensional. The second figure has more than four sides. The third figure does not have straight sides.

Discuss with a parent or teacher:

  • Can a quadrilateral have 5 sides? Why or why not?
  • What special features are used to classify a quadrilateral?

In the Got It? section, you will play games and complete interactive practice to classify quadrilaterals.

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