Parallelogram Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Emily Hume

Emily is a Reading Specialist and Literacy coach in a public elementary school with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

What do you know about parallelograms? You may have seen one or more today and not even known it! In this lesson, you will learn about parallelograms, their features, how to recognize one, and where to spot one in your world.

What is a Parallelogram?

Did you know you could be two things at once? For example, you may be a boy or a girl, but you are also a human! Shapes are the same way. They can have more than one label, depending on their characteristics, such as how many sides they have, which direction those sides go in, and how the sides meet each other.

A square is a square, but it's also a parallelogram! A parallelogram is a shape with four sides, and the sides opposite each other are parallel. This means that they go in the same direction and will never cross over each other, like the rails on train tracks!

Square with Two Opposite Parallel Sides
Square with Two Opposite Parallel Sides

Features of a Parallelogram

A parallelogram has several important features--clues that tell you you're looking at a parallelogram. Here are the most important features of a parallelogram:

1. Parallelograms have to have four sides. If the shape you're looking at doesn't have four sides, it's not a parallelogram! For example, both the rhombus and the rectangle have four sides, so they're both parallelograms.

2. Parallelograms have two opposite parallel sides. Go take a look at the front door of your house. It has top and bottom sides that are parallel, meaning those sides are straight lines that go in the same direction as each other. If you look at the right and left sides of your front door, it's the same thing--two parallel sides. Go take a look at your front door and you will see a parallelogram!

Rectangles and rhombuses are both parallelograms--they have four sides, and the opposite sides are parallel.

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