Elementary Mathematics
Material Type:
Assessment, Lesson Plan, Nearpod
Upper Elementary
  • Geometry
  • Lesson Plan
  • Nearpod
  • Polygons
  • Quadrilaterals
  • nearpod
  • polygons
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Text/HTML, Video

    Education Standards

    Quadrilaterals Stories

    Quadrilaterals Stories


    This lesson focuses on quadrilaterals and attributes in order to classify each shape (parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, and trapezoid). Students will review traits, identify shared traits and names of quadrilaterals, by identifying quadrilaterals in a video story. Then they will show their understanding by creating a quadrilateral story that explains traits and shared traits/names between quadrilaterals.

    This lesson will take approx 2 math sessions (or approx 120 min.)

    Thumbnail Image Citation: Bouwhuis, Laura. "Quadrilateral Stories.", 11 July 2022,


    This lesson focuses on quadrilaterals and their attributes (parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, and trapezoid). Students will review attributes of each quadrilateral, as well as shared traits and names, and show their learning by creating a quadrilateral story using adobe spark, google slides, or poster board to explain traits. This lesson will take approx 2 math sessions (or approx 120 min.)

    Background for Teachers

    Teachers need a background and understanding of quadrilateral traits, and shared traits for classification (parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, and trapezoid).


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes


    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to understand that quadrilaterals have and share traits and names (parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, and trapezoid).

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will work collaboratively to create a quadrilateral story that identifies traits of each quadrilateral (parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, and trapezoid), and traits shared.)

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of polygons, parallel lines, 90 degree angles, or right angles. 
    • Students need to know and identify quadrilaterals based on their traits. 

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    This lesson can be modified by having students complete a story in a jigsaw type activity; ie one students creates the story for rhombus and parellelogram, another creates the story for square.

    For more advanced students, more detailed connections can be made about traits across all of the quadrilaterals, or they might invent a quadrilateral member that doesn't share any traits and explain why. 

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Day 1: 45-60 min

    Review polygons, and preassess knowledge on quadrilaterals:

    Students can watch the Cinderella Draw me a story, located in the eMedia video library. During the video, task them with finding polygons and quadrilaterals during the video. They can write down the name of the shapes, or draw a picture of what they see.

    After the story, gather and share what students found. Identify the quadrilaterals, and their names. 

    Introduce vocabulary: shared traits. From the shapes found (you may need to have additional shapes prepared), discuss shared traits, or characteristics, they see in each shape.

    Shared Traits: to solidify understanding of shared traits: Compare Cinderella and the Stepmother's traits. IE: Cinderella is a princess, the stepmother is a commoner, both are daughters to someone.  Discuss how they both share some traits, and therefore can be identified by similar things (ie daughters to someone) while still both being different things (ie princess and commoner). Compare this idea with quadrilaterals and shapes.

    Quadrilateral shared traits: Students discuss shared traits amongst the quadrilaterals. Facilitate a class discussion, identifying names of the shapes based on their traits. 

    Day 2 60 min. 

    Student Task: Students write a short story about quadrilaterals and shared traits. 

    Show students the Example story found here (Adobe Spark), the rubric, and the planning template (optional scaffold)

      In their story, they are to include:

      • The name of the quadrilateral
      • The traits of the quadrilateral
      • What other shapes share the same traits or name
      • Their story can be completed in any format used in your classroom (Ie adobe spark, on paper/pencil/poster, book creator, google slides, video recording, ect.)

      Step 4 - Assessments

      Preassessment: During the draw me a story video, the teacher will assess knowledge on polygon, as well as quadrilaterals by walking around and gathering student work and noticings from the video.

      Formative Assessment: During class discussion and group discussion, notice student's findings and questioning about shapes and shared attributes. 

      Summative Assessment: Students story board and/or finished project of their quadrilateral stories.