Lesson 4

Sort Quadrilaterals

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to sort quadrilaterals and begin to notice the hierarchy and subcategories of quadrilaterals.

Lesson Narrative

In grade 3, students understand that different shapes may share attributes. They learn that shapes with four sides are part of a larger category of shapes, called quadrilaterals. In grade 4, students classify two-dimensional shapes by attributes, such as angle sizes, and the presence of perpendicular or parallel lines containing the sides.

In this lesson, students sort quadrilaterals into categories in a way that makes sense to them, with an emphasis on side lengths, angles, perpendicular sides, and parallel sides. Students may begin to notice some relationships between categories of quadrilaterals. For example, they might notice that squares have 4 right angles like rectangles and their opposite sides are parallel like parallelograms. These relationships will be brought out more fully in the next several lessons. Students should have access to straight edges, protractors, and patty paper throughout this lesson.

  • Representation

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Classify quadrilaterals based on angle measurements and side lengths.

Student Facing

  • Let’s sort quadrilaterals.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Card Sort Quadrilaterals (Grade 5)
  • Guess Which One

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Consider giving each student a sheet protector and a dry-erase marker so that students can easily reuse the blackline master for multiple rounds of the game.

Activity 2:

  • Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 2. 

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 15 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

In the next lesson, students consider subcategories within the hierarchy of quadrilaterals. Did students discuss subcategories or a hierarchy during today’s lesson? What questions can you ask tomorrow to encourage students to think about a hierarchy?

Suggested Centers

  • Can You Draw It? (1–5), Stage 6: Shapes on the Coordinate Grid (Addressing)
  • Which One? (K–5), Stage 6: Shapes on the Coordinate Grid (Addressing)
  • How Are They the Same? (1–5), Stage 4: Grade 4 Shapes (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Student Task Statements pdf docx
Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Guide Log In
Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
Blackline Masters zip

Additional Resources

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