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Geometric Shapes

There are several kinds of shapes you will learn in elementary school; this page will provide you with the names and examples of each one.

Circle

A round shape, drawn like this:

A drawing of a circle

Triangle

A shape with three sides. Sometimes the sides are equal—sometimes they aren’t. Their names are sometimes different depending on the length of the sides. We will show you the common ones:

Three kinds of triangles

Equilateral triangle—this triangle has 3 equal sides.

Isosceles triangle—this triangle has 2 equal sides.

Scalene triangle—this triangle has no equal sides.

Square

A box shape, with four equal sides—opposite sides are parallel, drawn like this:

A drawing of a square

Parallel means non-intersecting. For example, parallel lines means that if the two lines kept going forever, they would never cross over each other—they would always be an equal distance apart.

Rectangle

Another box shape, with two sets of equal sides. Equal sides are opposite each other. The sides are parallel to each other. It’s drawn like this:

A drawing of a rectangle

Trapezoid

Another 4 sided shape, with one set of parallel lines (the other set of lines is not parallel), drawn like this:

A drawing of a trapezoid

Pentagon

A shape with five sides. They can be drawn many different ways, but these are the most common:

A drawing of two kinds of pentagons

The pentagon on the left is known as a regular pentagon, because all of its sides are the same length. The one on the right is also a commonly known pentagon, shaped like a house.

Hexagon

A shape with six sides, drawn like this:

A drawing of a hexagon

Heptagon

A shape with seven sides, drawn like this:

A drawing of a heptagon

Octagon

A shape with eight sides, drawn like this:

A drawing of an octagon

You’ll notice that the octagon is the shape they use for stop signs.

Nonagon

A shape with nine sides, drawn like this:

A drawing of a nonagon

Decagon

A shape with 10 sides, drawn like this:

A drawing of a decagon

Dodecagon

A shape with 12 sides, drawn like this:

A drawing of a dodecagon

Polygons

All of these shapes are polygons. A polygon is a shape made of lines that could be colored in (all the lines meet and it has a “middle”).

Most of what you will be asked to do with these shapes is recognize them and draw them, so memorize how many sides they have, what they look like, etc. Other things may include calculating the area and/or perimeter of these shapes. If you’re trying to find area or perimeter, read our page on Area and Perimeter.