Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.
What Are Vertices?
Look around the room where you're currently sitting. Did you know that you are surrounded by examples of geometry? Find places where two lines or edges come together, like the corner of a desk, the points on a picture frame, the corners on a tissue box. These are examples of vertices.
A vertex, first of all, is the singular form of 'vertices', and it represents the location where two or more lines or edges are connected.
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Vertices Found in Angles
Angles are created when two lines or rays come together to form a point. The point where the lines or rays connect is called a vertex. The vertex can be small or big, depending on how far apart the lines or rays are.
- Acute angles are angles that measure smaller than 90 degrees. The vertex in an acute angle will be small because the lines are closer together.
- Obtuse angles measure larger than 90 degrees. In these angles, the vertex will be larger since the lines or rays are farther apart.
- A right angle measures exactly 90 degrees; no more and no less. You can fit a perfect square inside of this vertex. It looks a lot like the letter L!
Plane Figure Vertices
Plane figures are flat shapes that have more than one side. Triangles, squares, and trapezoids are a few examples of plane figures, also sometimes called polygons. These figures are created using lines, and there are places where the lines intersect, which simply is another word for connecting.
A common way to describe them would be corners. For example, a square has four vertices, or corners, since there are four places where the sides connect to each other. A triangle has three vertices. The more sides a shape has, the more vertices it also has.
Vertices Found in Solid Figures
A solid figure is a three-dimensional shape, like a cube, or a cone, or a sphere. These shapes are made of flat or curved faces, edges where the faces come together, and vertices.
The vertices of a solid figure are points where the edges connect and create a corner. Find a tissue box in your house. This is a solid figure, because it has rectangular faces and is three dimensional. This is known as a rectangular prism.
Now touch the points on the tissue box. Each point is a vertex. It's where the flat faces of the box and the edges come together in a point. If you counted eight vertices, you're correct!
All right, to review what we've learned in this lesson about vertices and the shapes they take, we learned that a vertex represents the location where two or more lines or edges are connected. We also learned, and now you probably have noticed, that vertices are all around us.
We can find them in angles, which are where two lines or rays come together to make a point. We learned that:'
- acute angles are angles that measure smaller than 90 degrees, that
- obtuse angles measure larger than 90 degrees, and that
- right angles measure exactly 90 degrees, and that all three of these types of angles form different sized vertices.
We can also find vertices in plane figures, or two-dimensional shapes that have more than one side and are shapes that we recognize, like squares and triangles. Each corner or point on a shape represents a vertex.
Finally, we can find vertices when we examine three-dimensional shapes, or solid figures. On these figures, vertices are where edges and faces connect to create a point. Now you should be able to recognize vertices every time you look at a shape, whether it's a drawing on a piece of paper or a shape somewhere out in the world.
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Vertices: Lesson for Kids
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