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Geometry Vocabulary Activities for High School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

As students learn to think and communicate like mathematicians, it is important for them to be able to understand and use geometry vocabulary. This asset provides a guide to activities for teaching geometry students academic vocabulary.

Geometry Vocabulary

From elementary through high school, students will encounter academic vocabulary when learning geometry that is unique to this strand of mathematics. Explicitly teaching geometry vocabulary will enhance the students' ability to engage in meaningful discourse about the content. The following activities may be used in all grade levels to teach students math vocabulary.

Picture Dictionary

Students will create a picture dictionary to use as an anchor for understanding throughout the year.

Materials:

  • 3-ring binder
  • loose-leaf paper
  • alphabet page dividers

Procedure

  • Have students organize a 3-ring binder with several sheets of paper between every page divider.
  • As new geometry vocabulary is learned throughout the year, have students add the word, definition, and a picture that exemplifies the term in the appropriate place in the dictionary.
  • Have students use the dictionary as a reference tool.

Bingo

Students will play a game that supports their ability to match pictures and definitions to vocabulary terms.

Materials:

  • Bingo game templates
  • definition/picture cards
  • counters

Procedure

  • Provide each student with a game template and counters.
  • On the board or on chart paper, provide an extensive list of geometric vocabulary terms.
  • Have students choose terms from that list and write them on their game templates.
  • Show students a picture and/or read a definition of a geometric term. If students have the term that is being presented, they will cover it with a counter.
  • If students complete a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, they say, 'Bingo.' The first student to get a 'Bingo' either wins a small prize or is selected to be the caller for the next round.

Headband Game

Students will participate in a game that requires them to communicate understanding of geometric terms.

Materials:

  • construction paper
  • tape
  • stapler
  • index cards
  • markers

Procedure

  • Have students make a headband out of construction paper that fits around his/her forehead.
  • Divide students into small groups or pairs and have them work together to write one geometric vocabulary word on each index card.
  • Then, have students mix up cards and place them face down.
  • When it is a student's turn, he/she will place a small piece of tape on the back of the card and, without looking at the card, will stick it on his/her headband so the other students can see it.
  • The other students will take turns providing one definition or hint per student to try to get the student to guess which word is on his/her headband.

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