home elementary second third fourth comparisons math art book

Prisms and Pyramids

prisms and pyramids


  • Pyramid sheets, pages 133-134 (1 set per student)

  • Prism sheets, page 135-137 (1 set per student)

  • Scissors (1 per student)

  • Scotch tape dispenser (for the teacher)

  • The completed project prepared by the teacher before the lesson


This lesson teaches students how to identify differences between two types of three-dimensional shapes: prisms and pyramids. It also teaches students to identify and count each shape’s edges, vertexes, and faces. Students will create a total of three prisms and three pyramids.

The teacher should begin by showing students a number of pre-constructed prisms and pyramids. Call on some students to describe what they notice to be the difference between the two types of three-dimensional shapes. Most students will quickly recognize that prisms have a flat top, while pyramids have a pointed top. The teacher should make sure that students also realize that the sides of prisms are rectangles (or parallelograms), while the sides of pyramids are triangles.

The teacher should also explain to students the difference between an edge, a face, and a vertex. The diagram below, drawn by the teacher and displayed at the front of the room, will help students understand these words.

prisms and pyramids 2

Get the entire lesson!
activity book