Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ways to Make a Hexagon

After we've studied all of the 2D shapes, I love this lesson about putting them together to create hexagons in different ways.  I get such good insight into my students' general understanding of geometry with this fun and challenging activity!

After explaining and briefly modeling their "mathematician mission," I give the students each a recording page and wooden pattern blocks.  After they have discovered 6 ways to make a hexagon, they use the paper pattern block shapes to glue down their solutions.

Some of them couldn't find 6 ways in the allotted time, and that was just fine. 

We then gathered on the carpet where I had a poster-sized version of the recording page on the floor.  The students took turns using our large foam pattern blocks to share the ways we found.

The kids were shocked when I told them there are actually 8 total ways to make a hexagon using our pattern blocks!  As we found each of the 8 ways, we recorded how many of each shape was used in each creation:

This chart leads to great discussion about why the square and rhombus can't ever be used.  Even after finding all 8 ways, I had a few students who still insisted it must be possible to use the square and rhombus and tried for another 5 minutes before deciding I must be right.  ;)  They also had some great discussion about why the triangle was used so often.

While this lesson is part of our curriculum, I owe a huge thank you to Kathryn at Kindergarten Kindergarten for the idea of making the chart!  It was an excellent addition to this tried-and-true shape activity!


  1. do you happen to have the pdfs for this? i love this idea and would be excited to use it in my class!

  2. how do you make a big hexagon from 3 small and congruent rhombuses and hexagons?