Properties of Shapes

Properties of shapes teaches students how to describe 2D and 3D shape using key vocabulary.  Learning progresses from visualising the different types of triangles and quadrilaterals to understanding how prisms are different from other 3D shapes.

This is the first topic on shape so takes place in Term 1 of Year 7.  This is a prequisite topic for perimeter, area and volume and angle properties.

Properties of Shapes Lessons

Prerequisite Knowledge

  • Compare and classify geometric shapes, including quadrilaterals and triangles, based on their properties and sizes
  • Identify acute and obtuse angles and compare and order angles up to two right angles by size
  • Identify lines of symmetry in 2-D shapes presented in different orientations
  • Complete a simple symmetric figure with respect to a specific line of symmetry.

Key Concepts

  • Students should learn how to use the correct terminology to describe the properties of shapes.
  • Understanding how each quadrilateral has unique properties helps students in future topics on angles and geometrical reasoning topics.
  • A prism has a cross section with edges running parallel to each other.  Converging shapes have similar cross-sections.
  • Students could investigate why some shapes tessellate and others do not.

Working mathematically

Develop fluency

  • Use language and properties precisely to analyse numbers, algebraic expressions, 2-D and 3-D shapes, probability and statistics.

Reason mathematically

  • Begin to reason deductively in geometry including using geometrical constructions.

Solve problems

  • Begin to model situations mathematically and express the results using a range of formal mathematical representations.

Subject Content


  • Derive and illustrate properties of triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and other plane figures [for example, equal lengths and angles] using appropriate language and technologies.
  • Use the properties of faces, surfaces, edges and vertices of cubes, cuboids, prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones and spheres to solve problems in 3-D.


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