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Prisms and Pyramids

Materials

IntroductionThis lesson teaches students how to identify differences between two types of threedimensional 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 preconstructed prisms and pyramids. Call on some students to describe what they notice to be the difference between the two types of threedimensional 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. 